Local government members, business representatives and academics will meet today to discuss the future of the New South Wales mid and north coasts.
The Northern Rivers think tank is being hosted by Southern Cross University’s Regional Futures Institute in Lismore.
The institute’s Kate Neale says the aim is to come up with practical regional solutions and look at areas that need further research.
She says speakers will include the chief executive of the Northern Rivers Social Development Council and a coordinator for the Keep Australia Working initiative.
“We’ll be discussing things such as transport, telecommunications, climate change and sustainability [and] creating business and employment opportunities, especially entrepreneurship,” Ms Neale said.
“It’s quite big in the regional areas.
“So it’s bringing us all together and saying, ‘this is where we want to be, how can we work together, how can we network and make sure we’re not all doing separate pieces of work on the same issues?’”
Ms Neale says the aim is to bring together representatives from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour and find ways to work together for the good of the region.
“So look at it from a research perspective, ‘what do we need to find out in order to further our region?’” she said.
“Also look at what we can do in a very applied manner, whether it’s training or mentoring, how can we be really practical about this and make sure that we’re moving forward as a region.
“It’s going to be the first of many conversations [and] hopefully we have people sitting across the room saying, ‘wow, I can really help you on that problem’.”