Government of Australia, Woorabinda Innovative Regions Centre

In 2010, Professor Hindle was engaged by the Enterprise Connect Innovative Regions Centre to lead a review of the entrepreneurial capacity of the Woorabinda community using its beef cattle enterprise as the Potential Entrepreneurial Project (PEP).

Woorabinda is an Indigenous community of approximately 1,000 people situated a 120 km inland from Rockhampton. Woorabinda is a community disadvantaged by high unemployment and many other complex issues. The community’s main commercial enterprise is the Woorabinda Pastoral Company that grazes cattle on four properties which cover 44,000 hectares. The full potential of the Pastoral Company is not being realised because of a lack of capital.

Professor Hindle’s task was to advise the IRC Facilitators assigned to the project on the application of the diagnostic and the writing of the report. The project was successfully completed and the report provided to the Woorabinda Pastoral Company.

The review made a number of recommendations for actions to improve both the performance of the beef cattle enterprise and the capacity of the community to be more economically self sufficient. In particular the Diagnostic identified that the DOGIT land title system that applied to the Pastoral Company (or any other enterprise that may wish to operate in the Woorabinda Shire) was the key inhibitor to the business’s capacity to raise finance . That is, until the Woorabinda community where granted freehold title (i.e. land that could be used as a security to raise capital), the enterprise would always be undercapitalised unless underwritten by the Queensland and/or Australian Government.

The Diagnostic therefore was able to establish the core entrepreneurial capacity of the community. Recommend actions that could be used to improve entrepreneurial activity and most importantly, the underlying cause for economic disadvantage in the community being the nature of the land title.