OPINION: Creative job solutions is what Gladstone needs
LAST week The Smith Family declared it was open for business in Gladstone.
The independent and Australian non-profit children's charity will be based at EQIP Technical College on Boles St.
Launching its Learning for Life program, which offers a range of targeted support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, The Smith Family had been keen on establishing itself in Gladstone for several years.
In 2016, The Smith Family undertook a feasibility study to assess the viability of establishing a new community in Gladstone.
The study established that there was a clear need for the type of support the organisation provides.
Now don't get me wrong, I think it's great The Smith Family has established themselves here but the question remains as to why there was a need for them to come here in the first place.
Have we become the welfare city of Central Queensland?
We've already had to brush off rumours that the Gold Coast was sending its 'finest' up here because of the Commonwealth Games.
There's no doubt Gladstone has changed since the boom times but has our fall from grace been that bad that a charity felt the need to establish here?
The Smith Family does wonders for people at the lower end of the socio-economic scale but do we want to be a city associated with poverty?
No city is a perfect utopia and we're no exception but surely we can strive for something better?
More jobs is what Gladstone needs in order to raise the standard of living but there's no magic wand to make this happen.
Thinking outside the box for alternate industries is a start but it's only the beginning.
So on that note - welcome to Gladstone The Smith Family.
Let's hope there's not too many people who need to use your valuable assistance.