Leaders from across 60% of Queensland together with senior State and Federal government representatives will gather in Longreach on 27-28 July 2020 for the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils Inaugural Assembly.

The two-day program will focus on formalising the new Alliance and developing long term priorities for Western Queensland which initially will form the basis of an October 2020 State Election Platform.

The formation of the Alliance is strongly supported with Assembly attendees including two Federal Ministers, a Senator, two State Ministers, the three local members, two Directors General and senior Federal and State departmental officers.

The Western Queensland Alliance of Councils (WQAC) unites 21 councils through their representative bodies: North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NWQROC); Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD); and the South West Local Government Association (SWLGA).

The 21 councils ranging from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the New South Wales border, generate $9.35 billion of the State’s Gross Product from 1.3 per cent of the Queensland’s population.

This contribution, coming from the resources, agricultural, fishing and tourism sectors, is 2.2 times per capita above the Queensland average, demonstrating the value of the Western Queensland regions to the State and national economies.

This is achieved despite the current challenges faced by the councils and their communities.

Mayor Tony Rayner, RAPAD Chair said:

“I’m proud to host this event in Longreach and welcome our Federal and State government colleagues to the first formal gathering of the WQAC. We already have runs on the board advocating for our region and working with all levels of government and our communities. And now, during this critical COVID recovery phase and heading into the election, we’re ready to hit the campaign trail to ensure our efforts and investment is focused where it is needed most.”

Mayor Jack Bawden, NWQROC Chair said:

“We’re ready to put our hand up to do the hard work to ensure Queensland’s social and economic growth post-COVID and we’ve got a strong plan and committed people behind it. As Queenslanders head to the election booths in October, never before has their vote counted so much. We’ll be stepping up to have our voices heard and making sure voters across Queensland know what their vote can mean for their mates out West who deliver so much for them.”

Mayor Samantha O’Toole, Chair SWLGA said:

“Western Queensland punches well above its weight in terms of our contribution to the state economy and our 21 councils are ready to make sure that continues. Whilst the short-term COVID responses so far have been welcome there needs to be a longer-term vision for the recovery and sustainability of a region that is fundamentally important to the State’s economy through the supply of raw materials, and food and fibre for our growing population.”

Find out more: www.wqac.com.au/assembly2020

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Media contact: Aleisha Domrow – 0423 116 865