An open invitation has been extended to State and Federal leaders to visit far north Queensland from Mayor’s who are determined not to be left behind.
Ten of the 13-member Councils of the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) recently travelled to Brisbane where they had the opportunity to inform and influence the State’s decision makers.
The group advocated as a united voice, covering over 18% of Queensland.
Chair of FNQROC and Mayor of Mareeba Shire, Cr Tom Gilmore explained that delegations to government are important to ensure that people of the north are not forgotten when it comes to government planning and budgetary processing. “This trip offered the opportunity for Mayors to raise matters which were of common interest for our 13 Shires and also matters which are unique to their own situations,” Cr Gilmore said.
“We had the opportunity to meet with over 21 elected members and three policy advisors over two days, reminding them of who we are, where we are from and advocating the projects which are important to the growth of the region.”
The delegation met with Members of Parliament and the Opposition, covering a diverse range of matters including enterprise bargaining, the Kuranda Range road upgrade, roads of strategic importance, the Gilbert River irrigation scheme, the Mossman Mill and the introduction of the waste levy and the impact it will have on Councils.
“Furthermore, it was an effective way of engaging all our members in a short timeframe to get our collective messages across – this could not be achieved by one council alone. It also provides the networking opportunity and opens the door for Councils to go back on their own to advocate for those local community projects,” Cr Gilmore said.
“We would like to thank all the Ministers, Shadow Ministers and staff for taking the time to meet with our delegation and follow up on opportunities to progress our projects or resolve issues. We look forward to working with both sides of government into the future.”
The recent delegation to Brisbane follows closely on the heels of a recent trip to Canberra where the group met with Federal Ministers and the Opposition to discuss similar issues and opportunities.
Councillor Gilmore said FNQROC anticipates taking a delegation to both Canberra and Brisbane twice a year into the future.