Leaders from the eight councils of North West Queensland are stepping into the national political arena and are on the road to Canberra and beyond to launch their first national campaign ahead of the next federal election.
North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NWQROC) will officially launch its campaign on Monday 26 November 2018 at Parliament House.
This federal election and beyond, the Mayors, Councils and our communities are asking political leaders to support this local vision to make North West Queensland a region attractive for people and businesses to live, work and invest – and actually develop and properly fund a regional plan.
NWQROC Chair and Carpentaria Shire Council Mayor, Jack Bawden said: "As a collective force through our region we’ve developed a political strategy to make an impact on the national political stage, to have our voices heard regardless of where we’re from."
"We’re usually pretty reserved up here, but we’re prepared to be a pain right where it hurts. If politicians won’t come to us or think we won’t be heard - we are coming to where we will count," he said.
Cr Bawden said many Australians would be surprised to know NWQ’s positive impact on the nation’s economy, yet we still have to go it alone on providing many things others would expect as normal where they live.
"Hard-working North West Queenslanders help contribute nearly three times more per capita the rest of the country but we don’t get our fair share. That’s $176,000 per capita to the national economy compared to $ 66,000 elsewhere in Queensland," he said.
"Locally we have people building their own telecommunications infrastructure, our councils are providing childcare and aged care, and many opportunities for building for our future are lost without investment.
"Our region is critical to the national Northern Australia agenda, while we are already contributors, we need the reinvestment to ensure we continue to make this positive contribution into the future.
"We aren’t Liberal or National or Labor or Katter or Hanson - we are not very political at all. We are Australians and local communities who are often being ignored."
"That’s why we have developed this six point plan for reliable energy, roads, dams and water, first world communications and funding community services in a way that suits remote communities.
"Our ask is simple – a coordinated Regional Deal to support a range of initiatives across priority areas for our region," Cr Bawden said. “And politicians will be surprised during this coming campaign when and where we might turn up to make our voice heard.
The NWQROC board will hold a meeting in Brisbane prior to heading to Canberra, with opportunities for interviews with mayors available on Friday 23 November 2018.
A snapshot of the election campaign is available at: Fair Regional Deal
-- ENDS --
Interviews with Mayors and Greg Hoffman available.
The NWQROC board meeting details for interviews
Friday 23 November 2018
Location: Local Government House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead
Cr Jack Bawden
Mob: 0427 459 424
Greg Hoffman PSM
Executive Officer, NWQROC
Mob: 0418 756 005