Mayors meet on crucial issues
SOUTHERN Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie was among 10 of Queensland's mayors discussing rail, water and tourism as top-ticket funding items to be addressed at a recent meeting in Roma.
The Darling Downs South West Queensland Council of Mayors, referred to as the Terrific Ten by Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, came together last week for the first time since council elections in March.
Representatives from the Southern Downs, Maranoa, Western Downs, Murweh, Balonne, Goondiwindi, Quilpie, Paroo and Toowoomba gathered, with common ground found on many fronts.
While each region had its own individual issues, Cr Antonio said they would be pushing for a number of big-ticket items to do with rail and water infrastructure when lobbying the state and federal governments.
"The thing that impresses me most is the power of 10 mayors coming together and the advocacy power of that for this region," said Cr Antonio, who chairs the Council of Mayors.
"We've talked about the inefficiency of rail and how we really ought to boost that; we've talked about a range of issues."
Cr Antonio also hailed tourism as a largely untapped resource for western Queensland, with some councils doing better than others.
"One of the things we want to do is to bring investment back to this region and to try and find a better way of financing what's happening here," Cr Antonio said.
Deputy chair and Paroo Mayor Lindsay Godfrey said it was important all the mayors were united on the "big ticket" issues that affected our regions to get better funding outcomes.
"We're always stronger as a team and there's a lot of interdependence between these mayors," he said.
"We represent a section of Queensland where there is not a lot of people compared to South-East Queensland, but a lot of produce.
"But of course politically, produce doesn't vote so we need to stick together."