The town of Normanton looked both towards its storied past and its promising future last week.
From August 3-9 the town celebrated its 150th birthday with the highlight being a parade and street party on Wednesday – the same day as Mount Isa’s to celebrate its 60th anniversary rodeo.
The North West Star was unable to attend the N150 party due to the Isa celebrations but hitched a lift from pilot Robbie Katter to get up there on Tuesday for the Mayor’s dinner at the Normanton Gun Club.
Carpentaria mayor Jack Bawden had plenty to celebrate also as host of an important North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Council’s meeting in Karumba to set the strategic vision for the future of the entire region.
The NWQROC was established by eight North West councils (Doomadgee, Burke, Carpentaria, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond and Flinders) in 2013 to advocate and deliver on agreed priorities for the region.
Cr Bawden said the Karumba meeting marked a pivotal point as the region’s importance on state and national agendas grew.
“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.
“We know the next federal election is on the horizon and this meeting marks the start of our campaign as we develop a strategy for the 2019 Federal election.
“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.”
Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government attended the Karumba meeting as part of a listening tour and also attended the Mayor’s N150 dinner in Normanton.
“I’m really keen to listen and participate in the Karumba meeting and I’m also glad to be here as part of the Normanton birthday celebrations,” Dr McVeigh said.