Digital connectivity, educational tourism, drought and water security, mental health services, access to skilling and training, and the attraction and retention of skilled workers — they are all topics for discussion at the second Palaszczuk Government Regional Community Forum for the Darling Downs South West Queensland region at Roma on 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 Darling Downs South West Forum will be chaired by Member for Ipswich and Assistant Minister for Veterans Affairs and Assistant Minister of State Jennifer Howard MP, who will be joined by Ministers Mark Bailey MP and Stirling Hinchliffe 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.
The Government’s commitment to regional Queensland remains an absolute priority and it is empowering local people to find local solutions to support new jobs and industries.
Assistant Minister Howard said discussion at the first Darling Downs South West Queensland Forum in October 2019 helped shape a Local Action Plan for the region to improve the digital connectivity for rural and regional areas; improve the lived experience of those in drought affected areas through more joined up government responses to drought; and focus on growing tourism and exploring educational tourism opportunities to increase youth and adults visits to the region.
“Darling Downs South West 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,” she said.
Ms Howard said the forum will include a visit to the Roma Hospital redevelopment site to hear the latest on the health services in South West Queensland.
“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,” she said.
This is the second in a series of forums, with forums also taking place in Cloncurry, Winton, Moranbah, Gladstone, Cherbourg and Mareeba on Monday. A third round of forums will be held across rural and regional locations including Darling Downs South West region in May.