Employing and retaining skilled workers, improving community wellbeing, and investing in infrastructure to tap into significant ‘paddock to export’ potential—they are all topics for discussion at the second Palaszczuk Government Regional Community Forum for Central Queensland at Gladstone next Monday.
The forum, one of seven being held across regional Queensland today, brings local community members together with government representatives to discuss opportunities to drive future jobs and growth in the region.
The Central Queensland Forum will be chaired by Member for Gladstone and Assistant Minister for Treasury Glenn Butcher MP, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke MP and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga MP, and they will be joined by Ministers Mick de Brenni MP and Kate Jones MP.
The Government continues to support regional Queenslanders to boost the economy and create jobs, and these forums ensure the community has a strong voice to talk about local strengths, challenges and priorities.
Queensland is a vast, unique State and no two regions are the same, but it was apparent from the first round of forums last October that there were consistent themes being raised locally, which we’ve now made strategic priorities for discussion.
Discussions will centre on skills and training, drought and water security, support for small business, emerging industries, tourism including Indigenous tourism and access to government services.
Mr Butcher said discussion at the first Central Queensland regional forum in October 2019 helped shape a Local Action Plan for the region to improve skills, training and youth development; leverage tourism and liveability to drive migration to the region; and improve community wellbeing, including mental health.
“Forum members will work with the Queensland Government’s Office for Rural and Regional Queensland to consider what outcomes are most important to the local community and to develop local action plans,” he said.
Mr Barry O’Rourke said the forum will include a guided tour of Gladstone Harbour and LNG facilities.
“Forum members will also hear about the Year of Indigenous Tourism, the extension to the Year of Outback Tourism, and how the Palaszczuk Government is seeking to improve the delivery of services to Queenslanders,” he said.
Mrs Brittany Lauga said the forum at Gladstone was one of seven taking place across regional Queensland with similar discussions underway at Cloncurry, Winton, Moranbah, Cherbourg, Roma and Mareeba on Monday.
A third round of forums will be held across rural and regional locations including the Wide Bay, Burnett, Fraser Coast region in May.