Tableland Futures Corporation appoints project officer

Friday February 13 2015, 2:50pm

The Tablelands Futures Corporation (TFC) will be better equipped to spur the Tablelands’ economic development after appointing Rob Macalister as project officer.

Mr Macalister will work at both a ground and strategic level over the next year for TFC, continuing its work over the last 10 years to drive forward economic development projects that benefit the Tablelands.

“I look forward to continuing to build on the positive outcomes already achieved over the years and provide further economic benefits to this spectacular region that we call home,” Mr Macalister said. 

TFC chairman Michael Lawrence said his appointment couldn’t have come at a better time as the organisation looked to drive forward these key projects in 2015.

“Having been involved on the volunteer board of TFC for the last five years it is extremely exciting to see the organisation take on the services of Rob, who has substantial experience in this field and will allow us to significantly increase the outcomes over the next 12 months.”

Mr Lawrence said TFC would continue to work with local councils and other key stakeholders including Tropical Tablelands Tourism, Advance Cairns and the State Government.

He said it was TFC’s strategic goal as the regional development body for the Tablelands, to ensure a thriving and sustainable economy, as well as identify and progress key strategic economic development issues and opportunities.

“Rob will work on an agreed list of priority projects including development of investment ready projects, ongoing growth and focus on the burgeoning mountain biking industry, supporting small business and ongoing transport issues,” Mr Lawrence added.

In place since 2005, TFC has had the support of all local government’s across the region since its inception, evolving from the then Tablelands Economic Development Corporation.

Today, a nine-member volunteer board oversees a variety of projects and over this time have seen more than a 300% return on the money invested by the Tablelands councils and ongoing benefits to local communities.

Douglas Inc, the Douglas Shire’s equivalent to TFC, does not have a project officer or comparable staff member, due to a lack of funds.

Douglas Inc Chair Gerry Ireland said a project officer, working for either Douglas Inc or council, would be an invaluable resource to economic development in Port Douglas, Mossman and the Daintree.

“[Appointing Mr Macalister] has taken Tableland Futures Corporation up to the next level,” Mr Ireland said.

“Douglas Shire would greatly benefit by having a full-time experienced executive charged with coordinating regional economic development and destination management in the area. 

“We are actually meeting with TFC soon so we can sit down, work out where they recieve their funding from and if that’s due to having a good working relationship with the councils in their area.