Greetings from Gayleen

– October 2022

The new federal budget had some good wins including increased childcare assistance and plans to build more houses, but it was not very exciting for the regional communities with some cuts to funding and projects. There is a national reconstruction infrastructure funding model coming but no details yet, and there is lots of cash for renewables of course. Some of the biggest concerns are that unemployment and inflation rates are going up. I am very worried that power is expected to skyrocket by over 50% in the next 2 years. Wow! That is huge! How will average and low-income families and small/medium business afford power? In addition, it is anticipated increased power costs will result in increased prices of consumables especially food and fuel. I think I am not alone in feeling that all sides of politics have gone mad. You just wonder what planet they are living on? Is anyone looking at what’s happening with power prices and blackouts in the rest of the world?

Congratulations to the winners of the Chamber Business Excellence Awards. I was honoured to be a lead judge in two of the categories this year. The quality of the submissions and demonstrated innovation of business was fantastic to see.

It is great that tourists are continuing to flock to all parts of regional Queensland. It was super busy in the school holidays and visitor number continue to remain strong. This has provided a much-needed boost to the economy as business continues to rebuild after COVID, although everyone is nervous with the increased inflation, interest rates and power/fuel cost.

In October, Sandy and Colleen attended the recruitment industry conference in NZ. They have contributed so much to Precruitment over many years and are both amazing support to me and our clients. As they are Kiwi nationals, I thought it was an excellent opportunity for them to travel back after three years of restrictions to see their families and attend a great conference. The strongest message they came back with was the importance of sharing our stories. This includes how we change people lives, our work values, our successes as well as sharing our obstacles, failures, our leadership stories, and our community stories. Remember that we are all real people with a story worth sharing.

Happy birthday to Colin who celebrated a significant birthday this month which happened to coincide with a reunion of some of his Duntroon buddies who spent a week in Cairns. The group of 16 loved the hospitality of our restaurants and tourism operators. Eating out every night and out exploring during the day, it was hard to keep up with them. They were all very complimentary of our region, the beauty and the quality of the service received.