Weekly Speak CEO Column
Backing a winner in the bush
What hasn’t been said about the iconic nature of the Australian bush and the great enduring connection so many of us have with that part of our nation?
The 2019 Bush Councils Convention in Roma this week was a celebration of all that’s great with rural Queensland. This year’s event had it all, and the mountain even came to Mohammed in the form of both the state and federal ministers for local government, along with the Deputy Leader of the Queensland Opposition and the state shadow minister for local government, plus two LNP Senators. That is a great recognition of rural councils.
Positivity bounced off the walls of the Roma Cultural Centre with speaker after speaker telling good news stories. It was a tale of go not woe. The bush is well and truly alive and hope abounds.
A highlight of the three days was the myriad of council to council and peer to peer presentations.
Who could forget our last speaker Peter Moody who told all assembled just how, in the space of 20 years, a boy from Wyandra could climb the heights of national horse racing, culminating in victory at Royal Ascot with the incomparable champion sprinter Black Caviar.
The takeout message is the bush needs a hand up not a hand out.On the policy and advocacy front, the key message was the pressing need for two outcomes: Works for Queensland to be made permanent, and proper investment in a large water and sewerage infrastructure program to address the looming infrastructure cliff and improve water supply assurance and quality.
Councils are open to alliance models but firmly want to maintain control.
There is also a need for some fine tuning of the Federal Government’s Council Drought Relief program.
Mayor Rob Chandler best summed it up in a panel session on the last day when he said let’s drop the buzz words and simply back the bush and trust communities to act in their own best interests.
Resilience wasn’t even in the vocabulary when our forebears were battling flood, fire, pestilence and drought 200 years ago. “Nuff said
A shout out to local government trainees who cleaned up in the Queensland Apprenticeship Awards this week. You have done us all proud.
PS: As he finished his address to listen one of his horses race, Peter Moody tipped all those at the conference a $9 winner in the next at Warrnambool. It duly saluted. Only in the bush.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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