Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Six weeks after the first round of Regional Community Forums for 2022, Far North Queensland residents will again meet with Ministers and MPs in Cooktown tomorrow to expand on their priorities and accelerate action for the region.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the next steps for the Far North Queensland forum were crucial for members to lead projects into the second half of 2022.
“May began a new era with new members sharing their priorities for a region-specific action plan,” the Premier said.
“Forum members, Ministers and MPs have had six weeks to develop their ideas and identify opportunities for the continued growth, wellbeing and prosperity of the Far North.
“Since then we’ve released the biggest health and hospital building plan in Queensland history.
“And almost two-thirds of capital investment in the budget is allocated to the regions.
“So there’s a solid foundation for Ministers, MPs and community representatives to use tomorrow’s forum to plan for more good jobs, better services and a great Far North Queensland lifestyle.”
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe, and Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner will join Far North Queensland forum members in Cooktown.
Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Member for Cook Cynthia Lui will be co-chairs.
Tomorrow’s forum will begin with a site visit to the Waalmbal Birri Heritage and Cultural Centre – a state of the art exhibition space for Cooktown, sharing local history and interactions between renowned navigator James Cook and the Guugu Yimithirr people.
The agenda includes a presentation on the Cook Shire Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan, and a panel discussion on economic diversification in the region.
Mr Healy said forum members, Ministers, Chairs, Director-Generals, and government representatives in May formed four groups to identify priorities and opportunities for the region.
“From reconciliation to small business regulation, education and tourism marketing, the last forum looked at a variety of issues important to the future of this region,” Mr Healy said.
“Four key priority areas and themes were chosen: Path to Treaty, economic diversification, regional service delivery and housing access and affordability.”
Ms Lui said forum members had been reviewing these priorities and providing feedback on a draft Local Action Plan.
“Forum members have been strongly invested in the development of the Local Action Plan and have shown their interest in forming working groups, aligned with the four priorities,” Ms Lui said.
“I’m greatly encouraged by their commitment so far to guide and serve the local community for years to come.”
The Far North Queensland forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across Queensland tomorrow, with other forums set for Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Central Queensland, Darling Downs-South West, North-North West Queensland, Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast and Western Queensland.
Minister Crawford - Peter Michael 0477 948 091
Minister Hinchliffe – Darren Roberts 0427 475 089
Minister Furner – Ron Goodman 0427 781 920