31 July 2023

Western Cape's potential discussed at Northern Australia conference

| Matt Nicholls
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Weipa Town Authority elected member Jaime Gane speaks to the ABC in Darwin.

Weipa Town Authority elected member Jaime Gane speaks to the ABC in Darwin.

FOLLOWING the success of this year’s Western Cape Futures Symposium, Jaime Gane has spread the word far and wide about the region’s potential.

Not only did the Weipa Town Authority elected member get to network with the 500 other attendees at the Developing Northern Australia Conference in Darwin, she was also able to deliver a keynote speech.

Almost unrecognisable with her hair straightened and make-up applied, a glowing Ms Gane told the audience of the opportunities that beckoned in Weipa and the surrounding region.

“What I said to them is what we probably all know back here and that’s the potential to grow outside of mining,” she said.

“Especially with a deep water port and the focus on growing ties with the Asia Pacific region.

“So while what I said won’t be anything new to Cape York locals, I think it was important to spread the word to an outside audience and explain a bit about the symposium we held and why that was successful.”

Ms Gane, who was joined in Darwin by fellow WTA member Dave Donald, said she flew home with a swag of new ideas.

“Everyone was there for the same reason and I think a lot of people who went were just as frustrated as we are here,” she said.

“The governments are happy to take our mining royalties but not as keen to put back into the northern regions.”

She said one speaker stood out: Dr Amanda Cahill of The Next Economy.

“She did a 10-year economic roadmap for Gladstone and I think that’s exactly what we need in Weipa and the Western Cape,” Ms Gane said.

“I was emailing (WTA chair) Michael Rowland as soon as her presentation finished.”

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