Turning big pictures into the real deal

ONE of council’s top business drivers will be the keynote speaker at Tamworth Business Chamber’s February Business Breakfast tomorrow morning.

Craig Dunstan, who started as economic and destination development manager at Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) in December, will discuss luring big business to Tamworth and making the city a marquee tourist destination all year  round.

Mr Dunstan held senior roles in the hotel industry, with retailer Ikea and at SA Tourism before making the move to Tamworth.

He said his greatest challenge would be to take business concepts from off the page and into the commercial sphere.

“It’s that ability to take a big picture approach and take new ideas and make them a commercial reality,” Mr Dunstan said.

“I don’t want to just get caught up in the rhetoric.”

He said his brief was to court larger employers and allow them a smooth passage to set up in the district.

“It’s more about growing the economy by getting big businesses to come through, rather than getting small businesses here,” he said.

“We’re trying to work out where the next big contract can go, the next business that might employ 100 people and have flow-on benefits for the whole economy.”

His primary focus, he said, would be on developing the region’s economic development strategy and economic profile, and working with organisations like TBC to brainstorm ideas.

The tourism side of his role is also something Mr Dunstan is passionate about, particularly growing the Country Music Festival.

“You don’t need to love country music to have a great time at the festival and that’s something we need to push,” Mr Dunstan said.

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