The Smart Transformation Project is built on a thorough and ongoing engagement process with community members in Dysart and Moranbah.



The Smart Transformation Project is built on a thorough and ongoing engagement process with community members in Dysart and Moranbah.

In establishing the Roadmap initially, there was a focus on group sessions and interviews to understand the challenges and concerns relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the region.

The collaborative process helped Smart Transformation to identify five key principles that guided our future roadmap:

  1. Change is inevitable, but it can be managed;
  2. Skills drive economic and social prosperity;
  3. Access to quality work is essential;
  4. Place-based leadership creates stronger regions;
  5. Lifelong learning and skills attainment underpin our future.


Consultation across our communities identified three priority areas and supporting initiatives that guided our development of the Community Roadmap:

  • Skills & Training
  • Business Opportunities
  • Community Wellbeing

Together we believe this plan is helping to shape a future for our Dysart and Moranbah communities that we are all proud of.



We have been steadily translating our Community Roadmap into action.

We are especially proud to present regular updates on our major community projects and look forward to completing more in the months and years ahead.

Being able to bring community members together with government, industry and business is a major achievement; initiating and being part of game-changing conversations through to completion is what Smart Transformation is all about.

Our projects begin with the development of a problem statement – the challenge we are working to address – and from there we take action.


Simply click below to learn more about what we are working on.
Volunteering Project
Problem Statement – Moranbah community and sporting organisations need more volunteers to ensure their viability, however volunteering has reduced at the same time that treatment of volunteers needs to be improved.
  • A community survey identified issues associated with volunteering. A campaign was developed using members from 10 local clubs as the ‘faces’ of volunteering, talking about why they volunteer, to directly address the information gleaned through the survey.
  • The campaign is now underway and will run for 10 months in 2024 – which has been declared as Smart Transformation’s ‘Year of the Volunteer’. Participating clubs will provide direct feedback on results, however all clubs and organisations (in both Dysart and Moranbah) are encouraged to use the campaign materal in their recruiting efforts.
  • Phase 1 involved the shooting and compilation of 10 short videos, uploaded to YouTube and being promoted on social media; social media results are encouraging.
  • Publicity stories were published in March, followed by two television advertisements which were produced with the support of BMA and aired on Channel 7, thanks to the Moranbah Workers Club.
  • Phase 2 of the campaign has involved the shooting and compilation of a second round of 10 videos with five new clubs and community groups in May, which will be distributed in June.
Dysart Community Wellbeing Project
Problem Statement – The Dysart community is challenged by issues of wellbeing, with mental health services limited, and is in need of support to ensure the community can identify and harness future opportunities.
  • Following discussions among STAC members regarding mental health issues in the community, investigations were carried out into options to address the problem.
  • Regional support group Outback Futures, having had success in other rural and remote communities with similar issues, was identified as having the necessary skills and resources.
  • Outback Futures was engaged to conduct a scoping visit to the community in November 2023, which included 30 interviews with stakeholders and a community forum.
  • The Outback Futures team has provided a ‘scoping report’ of recommendations and options for Dysart, which STAC members discussed at their February and April meetings.
  • A letter has been forwarded to new Isaac Regional Council Mayor Kellie Vea Vea regarding support for this project, with a briefing scheduled for 12th June.
  • The proposal has now been funded by BMA for a period of 12 months, as a pilot.
Improving Digital Connectivity
Problem Statement – A lack of reliability and fast digital connectivity is impeding the communities of Dysart and Moranbah in securing their 4IR future. The performance of the existing network, developed for the resident population, particularly given evening congestion in both towns currently limits access to business opportunities, vital health care and education/training resources.
Improving Digital Technology

The number one priority of the Smart Transformation Advisory Councils and Youth Advisory Council, the Digital Connectivity Project was developed with funding from BMA and Telstra, managed by the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) and supported by Isaac Regional Council.

The sucessful delivery of this project has now tripled mobile connectivity capacity in Dysart and doubled it in Moranbah.

Our focus has been on mobile data, however both towns will be included in Telstra’s NBN upgrade by the end of 2024.

The project is now in full operation, with positive feedback received following a community newsletter being delivered in Dysart. A launch event was held in Moranbah in April, where the project was widely celebrated as a great success.

The STACs are now to consider lobbying Telstra for broadband support.

Addressing Childcare Services
Problem Statement – Childcare shortages are regularly discussed as a significant issue for residents in the towns of Dysart and Moranbah, with said shortages believed responsible for limiting access to work opportunities and overall community wellbeing.

Following a study into local services, a steering committee was formed to improve the availability of childcare services in Dysart and Moranbah. The Childcare Leadership Alliance (CLA) was born and launched in April 2023, with BMA providing initial funding to establish the Alliance and provide strategic sector-wide support to childcare across Moranbah and Dysart.

Implementation of the CLA’s strategic plan is also addressing attraction/retention and professional development of childcare workers. The first professional development training evening was held in May 2023, and a second day-long event was held in September 2023.

As at June 2024, there have been 25 staff placements made in Moranbah centres, boosting the number of childcare places on offer by 150. There are also early discussions underway on partner employment options. The focus is now shifting to Dysart centres.

The Board remains in place, and there’s also a Local Rewards program where businesses can register to offer childcare workers discounted goods and services as a way of showing their support for the childcare sector. Funding to support current staff, and further recruitment, is now being pursued.

Housing Affordability
Problem Statement – Availability of housing in Moranbah and Dysart is currently constrained and this challenge is particularly felt more acutely by certain industries and sectors of the community.  To facilitate new businesses to the towns, it is necessary to better understand the current situation for housing availability, pricing and related requirements, and develop a forward plan.

At the December 2020 STAC meetings, the issue of affordable housing received upgraded priority given its links with the sustainability of Dysart and Moranbah as it relates to potential population growth.

Smart Transformation’s Housing Project has developed forward actions to address accommodation challenges both towns. Following an initial summit and subsequent issues workshops in November 2022 involving local, regional and statewide stakeholders, a series of draft recommendations were developed.

A Virtual Roundtable to review the draft forward plan took place in July 2023, with strong attendance from community, industry and government. STAC members are continuing to progress forward plan development, working with Isaac Regional Council, the Isaac Affordable Housing Trust (IAHT) and GWC’s Regional Housing Alliance team.

Moranbah STAC member Ash Dowd travelled to Mackay in April to attend Community Cabinet and lobby Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon. The STAC is also advocating for financial support for the IAHT, and is waiting for a response from the Minister. Smart Transformation will further brief Isaac Regional Council on this issue at a meeting scheduled for 12th June.

Youth 4IR Skills & Training
Problem Statement: With the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Bowen Basin, there is a critical need to ensure local youth in Dysart and Moranbah are aware of the skills needed to access the jobs of the future, the opportunities which are available, and that the education system – primary, secondary and tertiary – is supported to deliver the future education and training requirements.

Smart Transformation initiated the creation of a Careers Navigator position, attached to local high schools, to ensure regional students are aware of the skills needed to access the jobs of the future. This project helps students access relevant education and training information. Funding was secured through BMA in conjunction with Queensland Future Skills, a partnership between BMA, TAFE Queensland and CQUni.

The Careers Navigator role is ending in June 2024, but the position’s tasks for the high schools has included the provision of a list of roles that exist in the mining industry, implementation of QMEA’s Careers4ME tool, and an Industry Skills needs analysis report.

STACs will also be more involved with the Youth Advisory Council moving forward, with an expanded YAC program (YAC+) developed for 2024, designed to engage students outside the YAC in future skills. The first YAC meeting for 2024 was held in February, with a video produced to support YAC members sharing knowledge with their fellow classmates – initial feedback has been positive. YAC members toured the Goonyella Riverside Mine in May and the next YAC meeting is scheduled for 13th July.

The YAC’s Skills and Training Survey results will be provided to the Country University Board.

Community Services / Advocacy
Problem Statement – As identified through the Roadmap, the issue of government funding has been a long-running one in the region, with most local stakeholders believing that the provision of government services does not match true local demand. 

As identified through the Roadmap, the issue of government funding has been a long running one in the region, with most stakeholders believing that service delivery does not match demand or give consideration to the populations living in the mining camps.

Smart Transformation commissioned a study into government funding for Dysart and Moranbah, which showed a significant shortfall in comparison with similar sized towns in Queensland for the resident population.

Since the report was completed and provided to key participants including Mackay Hospital and Health Service, the Queensland Government has announced a new hospital for Moranbah.

Smart Transformation meets with Isaac Regional Council monthly to ensure advocacy plans are co-ordinated, with education at Dysart State High School a priority. The Dysart STAC is pursuing a meeting with the Education Department Regional Director to support recruitment efforts, to establish “how can we help” in relation to ongoing Dysart State High School staff vacancies.

4IR Skills and Training – Moranbah
Problem Statement – With the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Bowen Basin, there is a critical need to ensure businesses and older workers in Moranbah are aware of the skills needed to access the jobs of the future and the opportunities which are available.

The STACs prioritised the importance of supporting local businesses with training courses that could be attended in person or viewed from home via video link.

E-commerce training and attraction/retention sessions have been held in Moranbah, in partnership with the Moranbah Traders Association, with further courses under consideration.

4IR Skills and Training – Dysart
Problem Statement – With the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Bowen Basin, there is a critical need to ensure community organisations, businesses and older workers in Dysart are aware of the skills needed to access the jobs of the future and the opportunities which are available.

As part of this project Smart Transformation delivered new training programs for volunteers and clubs to support sustainability and growth.

A survey of local groups was conducted to ascertain needs and demands for training, with a program developed and delivered.

This training content is also available for viewing.

A new training session about Social Media, in partnership with GW3, was delivered in September 2023, after having to be postponed in June.

Transport Options
Problem Statement – Dysart residents, particularly those from a lower socio-economic background, struggle to access services ranging from medical through to banking given the limited range of such services in town, and there are few transport options to access services in other towns.

After a survey of local residents found support for a bus service, a trial began in December 2022 running weekly between the two towns.

The pilot ended 14 June 2023. 

Attraction / Retention Project
Problem Statement – Staff shortages are creating significant issues for the local community, impacting every local business and organisation whether public or private sector, with many struggling to attract and retain staff.
Transform in Moranbah
Transform in Dysart

To date, this project has promoted the positive and vibrant aspects of community life to prospective employees through the creation of two videos – one for each town – uploaded to YouTube and promoted on social media.

Thousands of people have viewed the videos, which are now regularly being used in recruitment campaigns by local employers.

Innovative Futures
Problem Statement – The opportunities stemming from 4IR extend across all industries, and as sectors look to transition to 4IR and progress projects, there will be scope for local economic benefits.  Given the significance of the transition and the breadth of potential change, a research study will be conducted to identify the possibilities.

This project is looking at the innovative possibilities, ideas and economic benefits available for our towns over the next 30 years, which have been profiled in an initial report. A study has been conducted, overseen by the Smart Transformation Innovative Futures Steering Committee, which includes representatives from Isaac Regional Council, Central Queensland University, Mackay’s Resource Centre of Excellence, Regional Development Australia, Greater Whitsunday Alliance, the Department of State Development and BMA. A meeting of the steering committee in June 2023 endorsed the plan, which has now also been provided to the Queensland Government.

Smart Transformation is currently a participant in the Regional Economic Futures Fund Stakeholder Advisory Committee, established by the Queensland Government, along with other key community and industry representatives. STAC members have been and will remain active participants in REFF meetings. Smart Transformation is also participating in the work of enviroMETS, which is studying economic opportunities associated with mine closure.

The Regional Transformation Plan has been released, with funding for supporting projects to be announced in lead up to the 2024 State Election. Further meetings of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee are being planned, while a Decarbonisation Workshop has also provided some options for consideration.