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Economic Futures Forum

6th Mar 2019
08:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Emerald Town Hall, 33 Egerton St Emerald QLD 4720 Australia

Shifts and developments across key industries over the past few years are rapidly changing the way that the Central Highlands does business.

This forum is designed to help Central Highlands businesses rise to the challenge of global economic changes. The event will look at how the region can capitalise on the green shoots of opportunity by working with rather than against emerging disruptors in digital technology, export markets and changing population demographics.

The Economic Futures Forum will touch on regional industry growth, industry and businesses working together and building business readiness. Presenters range from local leaders who have met these challenges along with government and industry representatives who are setting the course for the future. Ask questions, make connections and create opportunities at our Beer and Business networking session.

The Forum will also be an opportunity to launch upcoming major initiatives for CHDC; The 2019 Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards, Central Highlands Liveability video, the newly completed Central Highlands Visitors Guide and an exciting new online platform for employers and employees in the Central Highlands and Isaac Region - CQ JobLink.

It is certainly an exciting time to be in business in the Central Highlands.

Event MC

Kerry Hayes, CHDC Chair & Mayor - Central Higlands Regional Council

Councillor Hayes is currently in his 18th year in Local Government having been elected on three consecutive terms on the former Emerald Shire Council before being elected to the newly amalgamated Central Highlands Regional Council in 2008 for four year term, before being elected Mayor in 2016.

Kerry is the Managing Director of Emerald Land and Cattle Company, a business focused on livestock, rural property and trading water entitlement in the Nogoa – Mackenzie sector of the Fitzroy Basin.

Since being elected Mayor, he has strongly advocated enhancing economic development controlling costs, improving community engagement and creating a “regional” livability that will attract population to his region. Cr Hayes has served on boards relating to vegetation management, CBD revitalisation, planning and was chair of the Council’s Flood Recovery efforts in 2008 and 2010-11.

Kerry is the Chair of the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and is currently chair of the Central Highlands Accelerate Agriculture (CHAA) group which is an innovative and effective change to the way local government promotes and delivers for key agricultural industries in the Central Highlands. He is also currently the chair of the Central Highlands (Qld) Housing Company Limited and a member of the LGAQ Regional Economic Development Advisory Group and the Bowen Basin Regional Roads Transport Group.

He was the previous chair of the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (CQROC) from 2016 - 2018 and Western Queensland Local Government Association (WQLGA) from 2017 – 2018. 

Guest Speaker

Paul Higgins, Futurist - Emergent Futures

Paul holds a First Class Honours Degree in Veterinary Science, a Bachelor of Animal Science (Research) and a Masters Degree in Strategic Foresight. 

Paul is a graduate of the Leadership Victoria Program. Paul is a venture philanthropy partner at Social Ventures Partners Melbourne, and lead partner for their first investment in 100 Story Building. Paul is also a Chair of the advisory board for the Future Business Council and has served on a number of commercial and not for profit boards.

Paul writes and presents regularly on future disruptions to business models, and consults to a range of organisations on how to think about the future. He is currently co-authoring a book on the future of driverless vehicles entitled: Is Driverless Always More - How driverless vehicles will transform our economies and our societies.


The Honourable Mark Furner MP

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development & Fisheries
Mark Furner, Member for Ferny Grove has dedicated his adult life to serving local... More

Brad Foster

Regional Manager, GrainCorp
Brad Foster is GrainCorp’s Regional Operations Manager for Queensland based in Toowoomba.... More

Cr. Kerry Hayes

Mayor, Central Highlands Regional Council
Councillor Hayes is currently in his 18th year in Local Government having been elected on three... More

Sandra Hobbs

Central Highlands Development Corporation, General Manager
Sandra took up the position of General Manager with the Central Highlands Development... More

Kym Hellmuth

Owner, H.E.M.E
Kym Hellmuth is co-owner with husband Tony, of HEME; an Emerald based engineering company... More

Ian Payne

Director, GeoRadar
Ian Payne is the Director and owner of locally owned and operated GeoRadar. GeoRadar Australia... More

Michael Anthonisz

Director Economic & Market Research, Qld Treasury Corporation
Michael joined the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) in February 2010 and currently heads up... More

Ian Macfarlane

Chief Executive, Queensland Resources Council
Ian Macfarlane is the Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, a non-executive... More

Cameron Vorias

Chief Executive Officer, Sojitz
Cameron Vorias is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Sojitz Coal Mining Pty Ltd,... More

Daniel Fletcher

Communities Manager, Central Highlands Regional Council
Before joining Council early last year, Daniel has had diverse experience working in both public... More

Annette Smith

Director, Taylor Byrne
Annette is the Branch Manager of LandMark White (formally Taylor Byrne Valuers) based in... More

Tracey Cuttriss-Smith

Chief Executive Officer, C-Res Local Buying Foundation
Tracey is the Chief Executive Officer of C-Res, a cost-neutral entity that works directly with... More



Gold Partner

Industry & Business Partners

Venue Map


Emerald Town Hall
33 Egerton St
Emerald QLD 4720


Event Organiser

Kylie Hawkins
07 4982 4386

Email Organiser