Federal Regional Development Minister, John McVeigh, will be left in no doubt of the value of north west Queensland, particularly the North West Minerals Province, to the rest of Australia, when he visits Karumba on Tuesday.
Undertaking a listening tour, Dr McVeigh will be sitting in on part of the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils meeting taking place on August 7-8, which they say is set to renew their drive to shape the future of the region ahead of the next federal election.
The NWQROC was established by the councils of Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Flinders, McKinlay, Mount Isa and Richmond in 2013 and agreed to ramp up the group’s operations in November last year.
Chairman and Carpentaria Shire Council mayor, Jack Bawden, said the meeting marked a pivotal point for NWQROC as the region’s importance on state and national agendas continued to grow.
“This is a significant opportunity to have federal representation with Minister McVeigh in the region to hear from us firsthand. We look forward to sharing our insights with him to take back to Canberra,” Cr Bawden said.
“Another important addition to our agenda is discussions on the North West Minerals Province blueprint with representatives from the Queensland Department of State Development.
“We’re a region with a proud mining history, and the North West Minerals Province represents great potential for industry growth that will bring investment and help create jobs.
“Through NWQROC we’re putting locals in the driver’s seat to ensure that north west Queensland is in the best position to be heard and to take advantage of growing opportunities.”
Cr Bawden said with the next federal election on the horizon, the meeting would mark the start of the group’s campaign to develop an election strategy.
“Taking the opportunity to bring the councils together along with expert advice allows us to really get the full picture, from a local to a political perspective, to build a strong platform going forward.
“The election strategy will outline our priorities and the key actions we’ll undertake to put north west Queensland front and centre before the nation heads to the polling booths next year.”
They’ve marked the new NWQROC chapter with the appointment of their first executive officer, Greg Hoffman PSM, former long term LGAQ general manger of advocacy.
“Under Greg’s expert guidance, NWQROC will put our region on the front foot, working across industry and all levels of government to the benefit of our communities and our local economy.
“We’re a pretty determined bunch in North West Queensland, and that passion will be well represented at this meeting and going forward,” Cr Bawden said.
“Our region is increasingly stepping into the spotlight from minerals exploration, to tourism, to agriculture and more.
“It is an exciting time and imperative that we ramp up our efforts collectively as we realise the amazing potential we have here in the north west of this great state.”