Forum Drives Tasmania's Economic Future Fri 8 June 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development The Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today said a meeting of business and community leaders had focused on strategies to drive regional economic growth. Mr O'Byrne said the Economic Development Forum brought together close to 100 representatives from the State's peak industry and business bodies, members of the Economic Development Plan Regional Reference Groups, community leaders and members of the State Government's Industry Advisory Committees in order to share strategies for driving Tasmania's economy forward. "This forum is a key part of driving Tasmania's economic future, and was firmly focused upon the integration of strategies to drive regional economic growth within the broader scope of the State's economy," Mr O'Byrne said. "It is an opportunity to bring our industry and community leaders together to encourage greater communication and collaboration between the regions, and to update participants on the progress being made in implementing the State's Economic Development Plan. "Since the launch of the plan, our three Regional Reference Groups - one in the North-West, one in the North and one in the South of the State - have been working hard to oversee the development of integrated regional strategies that will make the most of each region's distinctive advantages, while identifying and working on the challenges that the regions face. "Today is a chance for the members of those groups to share their work and for the State's peak bodies and business leaders to contribute their knowledge and expertise to this important process. "One of the clear messages coming from participants today is the reinforced need for long-term, strategic thinking to guide the State's development. We need collaboration, not conflict. "The State Government is listening to industry and the community in their regions when developing economic strategies and methods of implementation. The government has a role to play in setting the environment where industries can thrive, but we need industry participation, community input and collaboration to achieve the best results for Tasmania," Mr O'Byrne said . The Ministerial Peak Bodies Forum looked at: · Key issues and opportunities in the regions. · Priority sectors in the regions, and key drivers and issues for those sectors. · Identifying regions that are most affected by industry transitions and how best to support them long term. · Developing a list of statewide and regional priorities for investment projects. "This Forum is an important step forward, but we will continue to respond to future economic development opportunities and priorities, and we will continue the process of close collaboration with industry and community. "In challenging times, it's important that we have a shared vision to drive economic growth and understand that we will not accept mediocrity for our State. We do things very well here and we must continue to do so, on a much larger scale and in expanded markets. "I thank all of the Forum participants for their commitment to the future of their State," Mr O'Byrne said.