Leading commentator on demographic trends Bernard Salt highlighted the opportunities that Coffs Harbour can use to improve at the ETC Business Leaders breakfast.
Leading commentator on demographic trends Bernard Salt highlighted the opportunities that Coffs Harbour can use to improve at the ETC Business Leaders breakfast. Damon Leach

Opportunities galore for Coffs

HAVING the country's leading commentator and advisor to corporate Australia on consumer, cultural and demographic trends in Coffs Harbour was worth every penny.

When Bernard Salt spoke to a gathering of the region's business people yesterday, he had the audience not only captivated but inspired to move Coffs Harbour forward.

Mr Salt was able to point out at the breakfast held at Novotel Pacific Bay Resort Coffs Harbour's SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and how the community can take advantage of that.

With the strengths and opportunities that the Coffs Coast possess, Mr Salt challenged those in the room to make the region the capital city of the eastern seaboard between Newcastle and Tweed Heads.

ETC's general manager, Michael Close, played a large role in acquiring the services of Mr Salt for the morning and he said the guest speaker left attendees inspired to make the city a better place.

"There were some positive messages about what Coffs has the capacity and potential to do," Mr Close said.

"He talked a lot about our attributes as a town and compared us to similar types of economies throughout Australia and talked about some of the things that they've done to stimulate their economies."

Mr Salt was able to point out that the population growth within the region means Coffs Harbour is fast becoming "less of an extreme community ... with critical mass it's trending towards the Australian average".

The charismatic speaker provided statistics from the 2011 census showing Coffs Harbour is now the 31st largest urban centre in Australia.

He added that planning for the future needs to happen now as over the next 15 years the population is expected to increase by more than 13,000 people. 

With this in mind he pointed out the time to start planning for new suburbs in the area is now rather than when demand hits.

The KPMG partner also agreed with the Advocate's campaign regarding the Jetty Foreshore telling the audience inaction at the Jetty Foreshore is a blockage that will stop Coffs Harbour moving forward.

"The best part of having a chief economist like Bernard Salt come in is that if you or I stood up there and told everyone, they would probably say 'what would he know' and shake their heads,"

"Coming from him, he can be objective and solid in his opinions about things because he's been exposed to so many different types of economies around Australia."

See Saturday's Advocate for full coverage of the ETC's business leaders breakfast featuring Bernard Salt and the opportunities that it may provide for Coffs Harbour.

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