Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers -
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers - Valerie Horton

Ex-mayor Loft's $600K innovation hub described as ‘flawed’

FORMER mayor Chris Loft's plan for a $600,000 innovation hub has been scrapped after it was deemed a "flawed" idea.

Mr Loft spruiked the proposed hub to attract and create jobs, innovative ideas and investors looking for new business opportunities throughout his election campaign in 2016.

About $600,000 in funding was allocated for the proposed hub in July 2016.

Fraser Coast council CEO Ken Diehm told the Chronicle the ex-mayor's plan would not go ahead.

He said the council would instead look at more contemporary ways to attract innovative ideas to the region which "may not involve a single purpose-built building".

"The proposal for the building that will magically create innovation, I believe, is flawed," Mr Diehm told the Chronicle.

"Innovation is about generating ideas, encouraging people to think innovatively and display innovative behaviour, and I don't think that's best served in a specific building."

Mr Diehm said the funding was instead being used by the council to "attract and encourage innovation", with a number of workshops held in the community throughout recent months.

Any unspent money will be reallocated in this year's budget.

Mr Diehm said a better result could be achieved without using a single building.

"We could use empty shops or coffee shops as hubs," he said.

"There are a lot of innovative ways in themselves to create hubs, rather than having one single building.

"We could have hubs populated through the region using those shops."

The council recently called for public feedback to develop a Smart Communities Plan to use technology to attract innovation and new investment.



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