With a Federal election in the air, I joined six other mayors and three CEOs from the North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils in a delegation to Canberra last week to remind the Government and the Opposition of the importance of Far North Queensland and to present our strategic regional election priorities.
I’m pleased to say that we received a warm welcome and a good hearing during our marathon meeting schedule with 17 ministers, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, shadow ministers and senior advisors over two-and-a-half days. We discussed funding opportunities to develop “National Building Projects” for Far North Queensland, including the Kuranda Range upgrade, which will assist with links to the Gulf country, options for hydroelectricity to replace coal-fired power stations, water security and support for sustainable tourism.
Local issues which I raised included the Tully Gorge Road Upgrade project, the Innisfail Masterplan project, the Tully Showground Multi-use Sporting Complex and the Johnstone River Restoration program..
Three of our member Councils cancelled their trip because of the recent floods in their shires. On a positive note, I received feedback that the Cassowary Coast’s donation of gumboots was gratefully received by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. The boots protected QFES volunteers from water and soil borne disease bacteria while helping clean up following the floods in Townsville.
Two deadlines this Friday: Don’t forget to pay your rates by February 22 to take advantage of the discount and don’t forget to have your say about whether our local government area should continue to have divisional representation or change to one undivided Council area.