Economic development priorities will be at the top of the agenda during the next round of Regional Community Forums, taking place in seven Queensland centres on Monday, 30 May.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the forums, the ninth since 2019, would again bring community representatives together with Cabinet Ministers and MPs to work on local priorities for stronger regional communities.
“Listening and working with communities is the hallmark of good government,” the Premier said.
“In the two and a half years since the Regional Community Forums started, they’ve come up with local solutions and local innovations for local issues.
“With the valuable input of forum members, we have continued our economic recovery from drought, floods and COVID-19, while also progressing new ideas for regional advancement.”
Monday’s round Regional Community Forums will be held in:
- Cairns (Far North region)
- Townsville (North-North West region)
- Mackay (Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region)
- Longreach (Western Queensland)
- Rockhampton (Central Queensland region)
- Bundaberg (Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast region
- Toowoomba (Darling Downs-South West region)
“Earlier this year we opened expressions of interest to recruit new forum members and it’s exciting to welcome 140 new and returning representatives across the state,” the Premier said.
“Forums have achieved great outcomes, such as a small business mentoring program in Central Queensland, and plans to improve the availability, diversity and quality of housing in Western Queensland.
“The meetings have also been particularly valuable during COVID-19, with members encouraging the vaccine uptake in their communities.”
Regional Community Forum members have diverse backgrounds including business and industry, sports and recreation, tourism and hospitality, agriculture and water, manufacturing, resources and mining, environment and conservation, healthcare, employment and training, arts and culture, and disaster response and emergency services.
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher welcomed new and returning members to the Regional Community Forums program.
“With 20 forum members appointed from each region, we will have a variety of voices, who will help identify opportunities and deliver some great wins for regional Queensland,” Mr Butcher said.
“This first round of Regional Community Forums for 2022 will give our incoming forum members the chance to bring their ideas to the table and draw up an action plan that will address the unique opportunities and challenges of each region.
“I’m sure they will be enthusiastic advocates for their communities, continuing the great work started in previous forums, while identifying new priorities.”
Returning Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast forum member and Butchulla Elder Glen Miller said it was an honour to participate.
“This will allow me to not only continue developing previous relationships with members who I would not normally have met, but to make new connections with others, hear their stories and learn about their priorities for the Wide Bay Burnett-Fraser Coast Region,” Mr Miller said.
“Since receiving consent determination over our Butchulla homelands, it is imperative that we make contact with and learn from the diverse range of people who live, run businesses and employ people across the region.
“It is also incumbent on myself to project the best possible image by which we Butchulla people will be judged. I look forward to the next two years of building bridges.”