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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Advance Queensland backs innovation in Outback Queensland

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Advance Queensland backs innovation in Outback Queensland

    The Palaszczuk Government is backing a $1 million collaborative agreement to spur innovation-led economic growth for Outback Queensland with funding through the Government’s $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP).

    Minister for Innovation Leeanne Enoch today (Monday) congratulated the Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) in securing support to match the government funding of $500,000 over three years.

    The Advance Queensland funding for the Outback Queensland Collaborative Innovation Project (OQCIP) will be equalled by support and funding from a collaborative group of 14 diverse local government and industry partners.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program is supporting regional growth by encouraging grassroots activities and connecting communities, and strengthening the capabilities of innovative businesses around Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The OQCIP will focus on supporting and connecting startups and entrepreneurs in the Outback region and growing jobs for rural and remote Queenslanders.

    “Our funding will support collaboration and encourage local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to work together to innovate and strengthen the region’s economy.”

    RAPAD will work with 14 diverse government and industry partners including: South West Regional Economic Development Incorporated, the McKinlay Shire Council, the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, the Local Government Association of Queensland, Telstra, Microsoft and three universities – James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology and Central Queensland University.

    RAPAD CEO David Arnold said OQCIP would be managed through the RAPAD office in Longreach, but its activities would spread across the Central Western and South West regions and the McKinlay shire.

    “We’ve had great support from universities, industry organisations and also state government agencies within and outside the region. They have all contributed to the development of this project,” Mr Arnold said.

    “We have some major opportunities in this area. We’ve recently launched our Smart Central West Digital Strategy, and this funding will help deliver on the strategy and take us forward.

    “The OQCIP will encourage a prosperous outback ecosystem, and will drive connectivity to bring ideas, expertise and resources together to generate regional opportunities.

    “We have already kicked off with an entrepreneur in residence, hosted the first start-up weekend in the Outback and established Outback hubs.

    “We’ve already been working hard and we are set to keep the momentum going.”

    McKinlay Shire Mayor Belinda Murphy said there would be tremendous opportunities for businesses and the community in the region in the next two or three years as part of this project.

    “We are really excited to be part of this with the RAPAD group,” Ms Murphy said.

    “Technology and innovation is such a critical part of what we really need to progress, particularly in the remote regions.”

    Under the ARIP, the Palaszczuk Government is providing matched funding OF up to $500,000 to 12 regions: Outback Queensland, Far North Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, North Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Fitzroy, Wide Bay Burnett, Darling Downs and Maranoa, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and West Moreton, Redlands and Logan.

    Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government’s $420 million flagship initiative to drive innovation across the state and turn great ideas into new products, businesses and jobs.

    Visit the Advancing Regional Innovation Program for more details on ARIP, or contact David Arnold of Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board on 0428 583 301 or email


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