By HARRY CLARKE
THE organisation which serves as the chamber of commerce for a broad and diverse region of southern Queensland has celebrated its 10th anniversary.
About 250 peopled gathered at the Walton Stores in Toowoomba to mark a decade since the inception of Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), created in 2012 to help foster economic and industrial development across the Darling Downs and Maranoa.
“We really wanted tonight to celebrate the success of this region over the past 10 years, which can be seen in projects such as the second range crossing, the Wellcamp Airport, growth in agriculture and exports and growth in energy and renewable projects plus of course the future Inland Range and new hospital projects,” said TSBE chief executive Ali Davenport (pictured).
“Toowoomba, the Western Downs and the Maranoa would have to be the most exciting region in Australia in terms of growth and investment.
“TSBE is delighted to have had the opportunity to work closely with our members to connect them to opportunities – and it is something we are looking forward to continuing over the next 10 years and into the future.”
The event was sponsored by Heritage Bank, a foundation member of TSBE whose CEO Peter Lock served on the board of directors from 2018 until this year.
Heritage Bank spokesman Andrew Fox said TSBE had been fundamental to development across the region over the past decade by fostering partnerships between businesses, government and residents.
“At Heritage we always take our responsibility to look after the community very seriously and we saw this as a fantastic mechanism to help the region grow and prosper,” he said.
“We were only too happy to help TSBE get off the ground. It’s harnessing that collective community value that really does exist in the Toowoomba region.
“When Peter (Lock) arrived here in Toowoomba seven years ago that really was one of the things he commented on – that sense of community here, and how people really are willing to work with each other and work for the greater good of the region.
“There is a need for that region-wide perspective. We have the individual chambers across our towns but TSBE has that overall role of connecting what’s happening in all parts of the region and to lobby with that extra clout to all levels of government.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s provided a recorded video message played at the event, in which she wished TSBE continued success in the future.
“Congratulations to the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise on your 10 years,” she said.
“This is not only a celebration of your organisation, but a celebration of your amazing region and its contribution to Queensland – from food, to energy to manufacturing – all critical to our economy.”