As you read elsewhere, we really have to put our thinking caps on now to create jobs.

The loss of so many industrial jobs is heart breaking and the tragedy of the loss of Waterford Crystal is only still being felt.

As you will see elsewhere in our edition, we must go back to fundamentals.

Industry became less competitive, partly due to Government policy, who saw us moving into research and development, IT and financial services rather than manufacturing. We here in Waterford and the south east had many manufacturing jobs.

The latter has been heavily hit and research can only be afforded in good times.

We must widen the job scope, Tourism has always been strong in the south east but cost has put off many foreign visitors from Europe and England our largest market.

Now with hotel and restaurant rates falling, there is some hope here.

The quality of food is improving so we can say that we have good hotels and restaurant serving good food of an international standard and appeal.

But can we make it more of a special Irish food experience?

The Italians have created a world wide reputation for food and there the slow food movement has made fantastic strides for consumers.

Industrial jobs have been lost in North Italy like here. Waterford may not be Turin, the motor capital of Italy, where Fiat began, but we have lost one of our main industries with Waterford Glass closing earlier this year.

In the Turin / Lombardy region all the local mayors and public representatives got together and came up with a strategy plan to overcome their difficulties in time.

We too need a great plan and lots of good ideas that can work like food tourism.

Our Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Martin Cullen and Tanaiste, Mary Coughlan, Minister For Enterprise could expedite a strategic plan just like was done in Limerick for Dell.

We have a NAMA plan for the banks and dead property loans how about a regional plan for south east jobs creation through food tourism.

It cannot be centred on Waterford alone and needs buy in from other areas and could be under the umbrella of the south east regional authority.

All relevant state agencies could have an input and a chief executive for the project of the standing of Denis Brosnan could be given the task and would suit someone wanting to put something back into society and the region after a successful career and would be passionate about it.

We need to think and work hard to get out of the mess we are in now.

Let the debate begin, but like with the campaign for the upgrade for WIT to university we need all the politicians working together on it.

The university would have happened if there was more cabinet support.

We may need greater strength for this proposal to achieve the goals.