03 June 2015

Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains): I speak about the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise [BMEE] Creative Industries Cluster after opening the Blue Lab symposium last week in Katoomba. I remember being at the very first Creative Industries Cluster Muster two years ago when the chief executive officer, Jacqueline Brinkman, spoke quietly to me of her nervousness: Had she misjudged the appetite for a collaborative approach to industry development among artists and creative enterprises based in the mountains? She had not.

Over 200 people arrived that day to learn about clusters and how they build sector sustainability. The positive feedback was deafening. Kelly Blainey was appointed cluster manager and set about her role with fierce determination. Kelly brokered contracts and partnerships, immediately boosting the industries' financial viability. This grassroots approach kept work in the mountains that may have been lost to other regions. I recognise today the ingenuity, drive and vision of the BMEE team for bringing a powerful idea to life.