DESPITE the positive signs of population growth and an increase in jobs for the Fraser Coast, a leading developer wants something to be done to address key problems crippling the region.
Knight Frank principal Glen Winney agreed the region had plenty of opportunity, but needed the right direction to make the most of that.
Sitting in a Hervey Bay cafe, Mr Winney said the Fraser Coast's economy was struggling.
"The fact is we are a below-average-income producing society and it must change to create more prosperity," he said.
He attributed the region's problems to high unemployment, low job opportunities, an aging population and lower education standards.
With the unemployment rate rising and being well above the state average, Mr Winney believes the region needs to turn a corner.
He has called on the community to come together and have the discussion about going forward.
"We need more jobs over $50,000 and we need to export more goods," he said.
"We need to focus on key industries to succeed in the future and unfortunately because of limited resources and skills we can't be all things to all people."
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Mr Winney said another fundamental issue adding to the problem was that of younger age groups leaving the region to study in Brisbane.
He said as an example, students wanting higher skilled jobs such as doctors or engineers usually travelled to the bigger cities where there was more opportunity.
Mr Winney wants those higher paying careers lured to the region.
He said this needs to happen to raise the economic status and create more opportunity.
"Basically we can't keep doing what we have always done and we can't keep aging above state averages and have more low income employment or continued high unemployment," he said.
"I see it as an opportunity to change our future on the Fraser Coast .
"Everyone has a role to play."
Mr Winney has called on the Fraser Coast community to come together and think about the region we want to become.
Fraser Coast v regional Queensland
- Median weekly income $780 versus $1107
- Median age 44 compared to 38
- In 2009, there were 6325 registered businesses on the Fraser Coast, dropping to 5758 in 2013