31 March, 2021
Business innovation showcased in Cooktown
A Cooktown business that has turned recycling into a successful enterprise helping clean up remote communities in Cape York Peninsula is one of the innovators presenting at the Cape York Business Expo on 14-16 June.
Far North Queensland businesses are invited to exhibit and will be able to attend a Business Symposium on 15-16 June exploring resilience, adaptability, innovation and sustainability as part of Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 – The Rising Tide.
Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said the three-day event would highlight the region’s agribusiness, food futures, eco system services, energy, innovation, advanced manufacturing, liveability, digital connectivity and tourism.
“This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to network and seek new opportunities to grow,” he said.
“The Business Symposium is presented by James Cook University and Clean Growth Choices with forums on workforce wellbeing, business resilience and adaptability, small business skills, and innovation.
“The keynote speaker is Queensland’s Deputy Director-General of Innovation Dr Sarah Pearson, a leader in innovation in both the government and corporate sectors who will discuss innovation ecosystems in Australia.”
Auswaste FNQ Managing Director Ken Reid and his wife Steffi transformed their Cooktown skip bin business into a much larger enterprise employing between 15 and 20 people after buying it five years ago when it employed one person and a part-time worker.
After winning the Containers for Change contract for Cooktown, the Reids looked for other ways to help reduce waste in Cape York Peninsula where hauling rubbish and recyclables can be an expensive business.
“We secured a Containers for Change depot in Weipa and now service 23 remote communities from Wujal Wujal in the south to Bamaga in the north travelling about 4500km a fortnight and bringing in 100,000-120,000 containers,” Mr Reid said.
“There is scope to help the Indigenous communities open their own container refund points which we have underway at Wujal Wujal.
“We are looking to recycle other items such as batteries to reduce landfill, and are talking with the Department of Environment and Science about the Cape Waste Strategy to deal with larger items like car bodies.”
Recycled products like crushed glass are also being considered for use in Cooktown Concrete, which Mr Reid purchased a year ago.
“We have rebranded the business to include landscaping supplies which has helped drive turnover from $200,000 to more than $1 million in a matter of months,” he said.
Running from 11-20 June, Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 will kick off with the free Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival on 11-13 June featuring Busby Marou and Troy Cassar-Daley, followed by the Cape York Business Expo on 14-16 June and finishing with the popular Cooktown Discovery Festival weekend on 18-20 June.
Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 is supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Cook Shire Council. For more information go to cooktownexpo.com.au.