Dalby today will host the fourth and final Regional Community Forum for the Darling Downs-South West region for 2021, with local forum members, Ministers and Members of Parliament to work on increasing vaccination rates to protect the region from COVID-19.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said since 2019 the forums have been a platform to elevate regional voices in the State, and the local community representatives could now help to increase vaccination rates.
“With just weeks to go until our border reopens and greater freedoms flow for vaccinated Queenslanders, we are getting the message out – vaccines are safe, effective and our best defence against COVID-19,” the Premier said.
“We want to ensure people living and working in regional Queensland are fully vaccinated to protect their health and the health of their family, friends and community.
“That’s why the vaccine rollout and sharing the opportunities that come with reopening our State will be a key focus of the final round of Regional Community Forums for 2021.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said other local leaders including Hospital and Health Service representatives have also been invited to all seven forums today to focus on the health and economic benefits of vaccinations.
“The Palaszczuk Government values the contributions that forum members make as community leaders,” she said.
“So now we ask them to do what they do best – help us to ensure more of our communities are vaccinated.”
Dalby will host Darling Downs-South West forum members, with Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer and Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard.
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen, who will chair the forum alongside Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard and Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden, said today’s eighth round of Regional Community Forums will also be the last for existing forum members, with their terms to conclude at the end of 2021.
“Over the past two years, it’s been a privilege to witness the cooperative and complementary work of forum members, to support sustainable economic growth, as well as physical, social and mental wellbeing, in the Darling Downs South West region,” Ms Mullen said.
“And our forum members have shared their own personal highlights of the program – from visiting local infrastructure projects and tourism attractions, to networking with business leaders and creating new partnerships with other passionate members of their communities.
“I thank all who have contributed to the success of our forums and I encourage regional people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply and take part in future rounds of this important program.”
Expressions of interest for new members on the Regional Community Forums can be made on the Advancing Queensland’s Regions website.
Regional Community Forums will also be held today in Far North Queensland, North-North West Queensland, Western Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Central Queensland and Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast.