Message from our Chair
2020 Christmas Wrap
I’m sure we’re all looking forward to seeing the back of 2020 after a tough year for the entire world. Despite the challenges, NWQROC and our member councils have been keeping up the advocacy for our region and counting our blessings.
While the world has been dealing with COVID-19, we have been incredibly fortunate to have remained free of the virus in our region. Although, we still faced restrictions and economic impacts, and maintained COVID-19 compliance like everyone in the state.
Our councils, businesses and communities must be credited for their commitment and perseverance in keeping our region safe and ticking over. And you’d have to say our everyday experience of knowing how to get on with the job in isolation came in handy too!
I’d also like to acknowledge Palaszczuk Government’s work in keeping Queensland working and safe. Most notably, for listening to the 21 mayors from across Western Queensland as we called to restrict travel to Western Queensland in the early days of the pandemic. A great outcome. COVID-19 Recovery initiatives including additional Works for Queensland program funding and a dedicated stimulus package for road sealing and widening are also most welcomed – keep it coming!
A big thanks also to the Morrison Federal Government for several stimulus packages provided to our councils - Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and the Shovel Ready road initiatives including the Regional Economic Enabling Fund. The continued roll out of ROSI funding is also welcomed to address long term strategic network upgrades.
In recent months, we’ve been pleased to see more travellers from across Queensland (and now more states) take the chance to get a taste of the North West. A really important boost as we lost quite a chunk of our 2020 tourism season to travel restrictions. The welcome mat will be out in 2021 for their return (and more!) and we’ll have our events calendar back in full swing with (we hope) diminishing restrictions.
And now back to business - throughout the year we continued to speak up for the North West with submissions, statements, meetings with politicians and agencies. And we notched things up a bit with our mates in the West.
Together with our colleagues in the Central West (RAPAD) and South West (SWQROC), we made the historic step to formally unite as the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils. Not another organisation, but an agreement to be “a united voice for all of Western Queensland” to face common issues and opportunities. The move was welcomed by member councils, Federal and State Government representatives as a proactive, timely and constructive initiative which will lead to improved outcomes for Western Queensland, the State and the nation. As I said at the time:
“As a region we are carrying well above our weight. Our agriculture and resources industries are essential to the State’s economy. In the West we always deliver whatever crisis comes and our ability to keep on working and continue production during this global pandemic is proof of that - without it Queensland would be pretty stuffed right now.”
That’s enough from me. Take a look at some more of what’s been happening in our newsletter >>
Whether you’re staying home or on the road, I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas. Here’s hoping La Niña shows up and sticks around for a bit to deliver us a steady wet season.
Happy holidays and stay safe.
Cr Jack Bawden, NWQROC Chair