Fo­rum for the fu­ture

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Long Peter Long is the City of Kar­ratha Mayor.

Last week was the an­nual Pil­bara-Kim­ber­ley Fo­rum, held this year by the Kim­ber­ley Group in Ku­nunurra.

The fo­rum al­ter­nates be­tween the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley re­gional coun­cils and fea­tures a range of speak­ers from lo­cal, State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments, pri­vate en­ter­prise and Abo­rig­i­nal en­ter­prises.

It pro­vides an up­date on is­sues, reg­u­la­tions and new ini­tia­tives and also gets the eight coun­cils to­gether to dis­cuss their par­tic­u­lar prob­lems and suc­cesses. Be­ing able to put a face to a name also makes it eas­ier to con­tact mem­bers of other or­gan­i­sa­tions later for ad­vice about an is­sue re­cently faced.

This year, our lo­cal Fed­eral mem­ber, Melissa Price, up­dated us on the im­pli­ca­tions of the Bud­get for us in the North West and Se­na­tor Linda Reynolds pro­vided ad­vice on how lo­cal coun­cils could tap into the big de­fence spend­ing, which will soon oc­cur in our re­gion.

Se­na­tor Patrick Dod­son spoke about the ne­ces­sity to mean­ing­fully en­gage with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, to bring them into the con­ver­sa­tion, to dis­cuss the is­sues they face and work for so­lu­tions which cre­ate lo­cal em­ploy­ment, bet­ter health out­comes and a less frac­tured so­ci­ety.

A num­ber of pas­toral­ists dis­cussed the new ini­tia­tives they had es­tab­lished on their prop­er­ties and the dif­fi­cul­ties they faced, in­clud­ing overn­ment red and green tape, lim­i­ta­tions of scale and dis­tance to mar­kets.

All were work­ing closely with Abo­rig­i­nal groups and hav­ing real suc­cesses.

I will sum­marise the fo­rum con­clu­sions next week.

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