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Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam, Friday 24, February 2017.
If anyone had a skerrick of lingering doubt that the Palaszczuk Government was paying a lot of attention to regional Queensland, this week should have blown that all away.
'Jobs Bonanza For Regional Queensland' was the headline on Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s press release last Monday and no wonder. The Government’s $200 million Works for Queensland program is set to deliver 6000 jobs, according to estimates, all of them devoted to boosting council and community infrastructure and supporting local economies.
As our President, Mark Jamieson, wrote in The Courier-Mail yesterday, it was no accident that the Government chose local councils as the source to the invest this money. No other institution has the same reputation for building and managing infrastructure from which the community and local businesses can benefit. It’s a quality of local government we should not be shy of promoting.
To that end, the LGAQ this week launched the latest stage of our Better Councils Better Communities campaign. Over the next eight weeks, we will screen a television commercial across the state aimed at highlighting the good work that councils and the people they employ do for their community. The ad features real staff going about real jobs. Go here to have a look.
The week provided the opportunity for Mayor Jamieson and myself to sit down with our new Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner, for a detailed meeting on the key issues affecting our members. Additionally, we briefed Environment and Heritage Minister Steven Miles on the LGAQ’s stance regarding contentious waste management regulation.
There was also time for me to travel to Biggenden to meet members of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils.