INSTALLING weather radar services in north-west Queensland was among the priorities mayors agreed to fight for at the inaugural meeting of the Northern Alliance of Councils.
The group, which comprises of 27 member councils from Rockhampton, west to Mount Isa and north to the Torres Strait, met in Ingham last week to discuss key priorities for the North Queensland region.
Over 100 delegates attended the NAOC meeting, which represents northern Australia local governments whose area is north of the Tropic of Capricorn, including local governments in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor and President of the NAOC Executive Liz Schmidt said the conference aimed to bring together those with a strong interest in the direction of northern Australia in the future.
“This Alliance is a great thing for the North,” Cr Schmidt said.
“It provides an opportunity for all the membership councils to network and to work together to influence Federal and State Governments about issues that impact our local areas.”
Cr Schmidt said the group had agreed on a number of motions to present to the Local Government Association of Queensland.
These included a proposal from Flinders Shire Council to install a weather radar in the Flinders or southern Gulf area.
Upgrading the Gulf Development Road, requesting state agencies to have greater adherence to council biosecurity plans and better management of the rating impacts on local communities arising from significant land valuation movements were also agreed to.
Cr Schmidt said the group was united in its passion to advance the north.
“The majority of the issues we have in the North are similar to elsewhere, like securing funds for projects, water issues, agricultural issues, land clearing. Those are the kind of things we do have in common.
“It really is understanding that we need to put all our weight behind the north, particularly with the developing Northern Australia white paper.
“It’s about having that united voice around all issues of particular significance to the North.”
Cr Schmidt said the group was expanding as more people became aware they were active, with the Barcaldine and Rockhampton shires both represented.
She said there had been expressions of interests from the Northern Territory and Western Australia and she hoped they would become more active in the future.
“Certainly having some input from them, whether they are members of not, will not be a bad thing,” Cr Schmidt said.