How Ipswich small business can lead city out of jobs crisis
SOMEWHERE between camel milk cheese, an innovate business model and imminent jobs growth, one Ipswich company is already part of the future of the Ipswich economy.
Summer Land Camel Farm at Harrisville is camel-lengths ahead of the flock as the State Government is getting ready to drive a massive innovation and jobs boom in Ipswich.
Minister for Innovation Leanne Enoch yesterday committed $500,000 to an Ipswich City Council led program aimed at targeting student entrepreneurs and fostering stronger engagement between start-ups and local business.
It's part of a $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program.
Summer Land Camel Farm owners Jeff Flood and Paul Martin are already on the innovation train having turned what used to be a pest animal into milk, cheese, beauty products and gelato.
"For us what we're doing is innovation, taking what is seen as a feral pest or problem or liability in Australia and demonstrating that its not a liability, it's an asset," Mr Flood said.
"Camels are important livestock in our country so we take it through to milk, skin care, gelato and cheese and all sorts of different products.
"Everything we are doing is innovation which I think is the ultimate end of other bits and pieces like being creative, agile as a company because the market is quick, flexible, and having the right tools and infrastructure and being sustainable."
Ms Enoch said the State Government's contribution would be matched by nine collaborative partners to deliver more than 30 entrepreneurial talent development programs.
"We know that innovation happens everywhere and we know how important it is. A human beings we have been innovating since the dawn of time because all it is is turning ideas into action," she said.
"The world is changing very rapidly and our economy is shifting in ways we would not have expected even 10 years ago.
"In the next10 years we will see such rapid change, we will see the equivalent of 100 years of change, that's how fast things are happening."
"That's why innovation is such a critical part of ensuring we have our fair share of new economies on the horizon and that we see jobs evolve into new jobs of the future."
She said supporting innovation and jobs growth was particularly important in limiting the impact of mass redundancies in Ipswich.
"What we've understood so far is if we have small business in particular that are investing in innovation and looking how to take their idea to market, we see jobs growth in those areas," she said.
"Small business is where we're going to see all the jobs growth.
"If 15% of small business employed one extra person we'd see 22,000 extra jobs in the state.
"As the economy transitions we are going to see some falling off of jobs, some re-adjusting of business models and actual industries change and then we'll see jobs come back in in those areas but they will be different jobs and they will require different skills. In many ways they will allow an even more prosperous lifestyle for many people in the state.
"Jobs are changing but they're certainly not disappearing, they are turning into other things."