Visitors in Focus
Regional inequality hearings in Emerald
The Mayor of Central Highlands, Cr Kerry Hayes spoke about a recent parliamentary hearing into regional inequality in Australia, held in Emerald on Wednesday 29 August.
The inquiry was held by the Senate Economics Reference Committee with the goal of collecting information to assist policy makers understand what services need improvement to have a positive impact on residents in regional Australia.
Cr Hayes said he welcomed the Committee’s decision to hold the hearing where it matters – in a regional town.
‘The Central Highlands is an economic powerhouse with diverse industries, but there’s no denying that service provision in regional areas isn’t the same as in the major cities,’ he said.
‘To attract sustainable investment, diversity in skills and people, offer liveability and quality of life that exist in the cities, regional Australia needs the support by state and federal governments and policies’, he said.
Local government is the level of government closest to the community and is best placed to understand and respond to the needs of communities at the local and regional level. The services and facilities provided by councils support the daily experience of the communities they serve and the performance of regional economies.
The key issue on the agenda was grant reform for local government. The nation’s local councils manage 25 percent of all public infrastructure in Australia yet collect just 3 percent of the taxes. A fairer and guaranteed share of untied grants funding would allow Queensland councils to better deliver the services their communities need.
Read more about LGAQ’s submission to the inquiry into the indicators of, and impact on, regional inequality in Australia - here.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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