The breakfast was an engaging discussion on revitalising regions in Queensland.
The Hon. Mark Furner MP – The Palaszczuk Government is focussed on developing economic opportunity and capacity in regional Queensland. Smart, innovative communities have an understanding of their strengths. They know what they’re good at and the resources at their disposal. Through local government-led partnerships with chambers of commerce, business groups, universities and other levels of government, they’re identifying emerging opportunities.
Barcoo and Diamantina Shire councils have joined forces to secure government funding for a game-changing fibre optic cable network to deliver high speed connectivity to the World Wide Web. Western Downs Regional Council has taken advantage of renewable energy and battery storage technology to approve one of nation’s biggest solar farms and aspires to become the energy capital of Australia.
One size doesn’t fit all, but affordable, liveable towns and cities, modern infrastructure, innovation, local leadership and partnerships are key ingredients for creating thriving regions. The Palaszczuk Government is investing in the capacity of Local Government to deliver jobs, drive innovation and help regional communities to thrive.
The panel discussed the opportunities and challenges and key policy issues that need to be addressed to ensure the regions thrive.
Some of the points raised were:
- population is the focus – need to get people into the regions
- need to streamline the boundaries
- lower the cost of doing business
- create a specialised message
- sell the demand story
- regions need to be self -determining and to take the lead
- connectivity is key
- nurture opportunities in the region – “you can catch 1m long barramundi within the city reaches”
Shane Doherty suggested a billboard campaign to encourage visitors to the regions – “bugger the beach go to the bush”
Guest Speaker: The Hon. Mark Furner MP, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
Councillor Margaret Strelow, Mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council
Dr Ben Lyons, Chief Executive Officer, Food Leaders Australia, “an initiative of” Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise
Mr Trent Twomey, Chair, Advance Cairns
Moderator: Shane Doherty, Political Reporter, Nine News Queensland