EDA Journal Vol 14 No 3 | Page 3


Jacqueline Brinkman , Chief Executive Officer
It is my pleasure to present the final edition of the EDA Journal for 2021 . The National Economic Development Conference ( NEDC21 ) has just wrapped up and although we were disappointed to not be able to welcome delegates in person , our hosts , Mackay Regional Council delivered the most interactive and engaging virtual conference experience possible .
The theme of NEDC21 , Regional Transformation – An evolution of the Circular Economy could not have been more relevant or timely . The recently released IPCC Report , which is based on thousands of research studies by hundreds of leading climate scientists over 8 years and builds upon more than three decades of prior research , tells us many things but give us one clear and consistent message ; We are running out of time .
The report confirms that the traditional , linear economy is not useful when we are presented with the effects of climate change , on a planet with finite resources . The Circular Economy presents the opportunity for us to rethink what we consider to be ‘ progress ’ and redesign our economic model . By gradually decoupling economic activity from consumption and designing waste out of the system , together with a transition to renewable energy sources , the circular model presents us with the opportunity to build economic , natural and social capital .
While there is no doubt , we need global and national policy leadership , and we hope to see that outcome from the UN
Climate Change Conference of the Parties ( COP26 ), often transformational change can be implemented at a local level as well . NEDC21 showed us that economic development professionals have a pivotal role to play in transitioning local ecosystems to a circular economy model .
This is the ideal opportunity to prove that economic development professionals can be change agents . EDA will continue to support the economic development sector learn , adapt and adopt best practice in the coming months and years .
In this edition , NSW Circular Chief Economist , Dr Kar Mei Tang illustrates the important role economic development professionals can play by reminding us that over 40 % of local governments have made commitments to reach a zeroemissions target by or before 2050 for their community emissions , with a number aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2030 .
Respected leading economist and Climate Councilor , Nicki Hutley outlines how acting sooner on climate change can deliver greater economic benefits , particularly for regional Australia .
Melissa Miller presents a practical case study demonstrating how the team at the City of Marion in SA are building foundations for a local circular economy , driven by manufacturing and addresses some of the challenges in facilitating a transition from traditional business models .
This edition also features articles covering a range of other themes , including RDA Hunter ’ s experience of establishing a Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals ( MTP ) cluster . This is a fantastic example of a ground-up cluster development and an exemplar of specialisation in action .
The AsiaLink Business team provides great advice for regions preparing to leverage the opportunities that exist now as Australia begins reopening its international borders .
This edition also showcases all the finalists and winners of the 2021 National Economic Development Awards for Excellence . This is a wonderful repository of best practice , illustrating the ways in which the economic development sector is driving Australia ’ s economic recovery .
Thank you once again to all our authors and advertisers in this edition .
Jacqueline Brinkman Chief Executive Officer Economic Development Australia