Economic development and delivering the State’s Economic Recovery Plan has been the focus of the Palaszczuk Government’s Regional Community Forums held across the state today.
Ministers and MPs participated in the sixth Regional Community Forums, held in seven regional centres at:
- Tully in the Far North
- Mount Isa in the North-North West
- Bowen in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region
- Barcaldine in the west
- Emerald in Central Queensland
- Kingaroy in the Wide Bay and
- Dalby in the Darling Downs and South West region
“Rural and regional Queensland is the heart and soul of this great state and our commitment to these communities is unwavering,” the Premier said.
“They are critical for our economic recovery and future prosperity.
“And rural and regional Queenslanders’ views on their priorities for economic development and community growth within their regions is critical, that’s why these forums are so important.
“Since 2019 and through the global pandemic, the Regional Community Forums have helped identify key priority areas for regional Queensland including skills and training, emerging industries, drought and water security, tourism and indigenous tourism, support for small business, connected access to services and promoting a positive narrative for the regions.
“My Government is passionate about listening to rural and regional Queensland communities and addressing residents’ priorities, which is why we established these forums two years ago.
“The stories told, and issues raised, by locals are an invaluable tool as we work together to create a brighter future in the regions.”
The Premier said today’s forums were held at an important time, particular with the recent State Budget to discuss economic expansion and community growth across our regions.
“More than 60 per cent of our $14.7 billion capital program for infrastructure for the next financial year will be spent outside of Greater Brisbane, supporting nearly 30,000 regional jobs,” the Premier said.
“We are supporting regional councils to improve water supply and security by committing $70 million to a new round of our very successful Building our Regions funding.
“Through this initiative, my Government has worked with 67 councils and provided more than $348 million towards 271 projects, and this latest round of funding will build on this great work.
“We’re also continuing to deliver our successful Works for Queensland program which we’ve invested $1 billion in since 2015 for 65 councils outside the South East corner to build and maintain important local infrastructure for their communities.
“My Government is delivering real outcomes for rural and regional Queenslanders by working with community members face to face and listening to what matters most to people.
“Collectively, we are examining what liveability means in 2021 and championing the importance of buying local to support rural and regional businesses.
“We are making change happen at a time when Queensland is united in economic recovery and bouncing back from the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said engaging directly with local stakeholders was critical to understanding the unique challenges and opportunities in each region.
“The Palaszczuk Government understands there is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to regional development and growing regional economies,” Mr Butcher said.
“That’s why these regional forums are so important, because they provide valuable opportunities to understand the needs of each region across the State and for Ministers to bring those understandings back to Brisbane so we can make informed decisions about how we best support and grow our regional communities.”
The Regional Community Forums are part of the Queensland Government’s Advancing Queensland’s Regions strategy, supported by the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland.