Ayr tomorrow (Sep 27) will host the third Regional Community Forum for the North-North-West Queensland region for 2021, with forum members, Ministers and Members of Parliament to discuss priorities and projects which continue the state’s economic recovery.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland’s strong health response has allowed the recovery to begin, with vaccinations the key to continuing along that path.
“To help us do that, the focus of the forums is to support local economic development ideas, and opportunities to further diversify local economies, using connections between regional people and their representatives in Government,” the Premier said.
“Almost two years on from the launch of our Regional Community Forums, Ministers, Members of Parliament and regional stakeholders will be in Ayr tomorrow for the seventh forum for the North-North West Queensland region.
“Alongside discussions and panel sessions, these forums have given members the opportunity to visit local businesses, bear witness to innovative practices in regional industries, and hear directly from inspirational individuals, empowering regional and remote communities.
“We have been encouraged by all that the forums have delivered, helping us to stay safe and grow economically despite COVID-19.”
Ayr will host North-North West forum members with Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan, Minister for Resources Scott Stewart, Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum.
The forum will be chaired by the Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper and the Member for Mundingburra Les Walker.
“Since 2019, North-North West forum members have worked to share information about mental health services with the broader community,” the Premier said.
“And they contributed to ‘buy local’ campaigns, establishing strong working relationships with their local Chamber of Commerce to help small businesses across the region weather the financial impact of COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m grateful for the energy, optimism and expertise that forum members bring to this program, and I look forward to the ideas and next steps identified in this seventh round of Regional Community Forums.”
Mr Harper thanked all who had contributed to the success of the forums to date.
“Forum members in the North-North West have demonstrated a willingness to connect and collaborate, to ensure local people are at the forefront of the region’s economic growth,” Mr Harper said.
“The seventh forum for this region will be a platform to examine our progress, forge new partnerships and identify exciting opportunities, to benefit our growing community.”
Forum members will visit a local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries research station for a presentation on protected area cropping.
Ayr’s Burdekin Theatre will host forum discussions including the attraction and retention of staff in regional areas, the regions best products, and the implementation of the Burdekin economic strategy.
Regional Community Forums will also be held in Far North Queensland, Western Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Central Queensland, Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast and Darling Downs-South West Queensland.
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.