North West Queensland local government leaders are in Townsville this week to highlight their fight for a better regional deal.
The mayors chose to meet in Townsville (9-10 May), inviting parties and candidates to take a final opportunity to formally respond to their concerns before the Federal Election.
Carpentaria Shire Mayor Jack Bawden said North West communities had long felt forgotten by the political process and if these communities continued to be ignored, it would also hurt Townsville’s efforts to build a better future.
“That’s why we developed our Six-Point Plan and have called for a better regional deal. It’s also why we have worked with Townsville Enterprise in alliance on some aspects of engagement with Canberra since the floods,” he said.
“The election, as well as the close competition in Herbert, presents an important opportunity for all of us to have a louder voice. We know many people in Herbert do have sympathy with their neighbours and understand that a strong Townsville needs a strong region – not just as we recover from devastating flooding, but into the future.
“Our message is simple – if you haven’t made up your mind this election, maybe how they treat us in this moment – your mates in the North West – might just help you decide. Either way please make sure that your preferred political party and their candidates are supporting all our communities.”
The Six-Point Plan includes:
- Fair funding for the region’s beef, freight and tourism roads;
- A power policy for the real world including remote Australia;
- Investing in water infrastructure and dams;
- Building our productive regions with sustainable populations through immigration incentives and correct tax arrangements;
- Delivering first world telecommunications and connectivity; and
- Funding and delivering community services in a way that works for remote communities.
“The North West injects billions into the national economy, almost three times more per capita than the rest of Queensland. An important contribution – too important to be ignored,” Cr Bawden said.