Step out of shad­ows

Min­is­ter looks at tourism and agri­cul­ture

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

IT’S not just cap­i­tal cities that can over­shadow re­gional ar­eas, as South­ern Downs Mayor Tracy Do­bie urges govern­ment de­part­ments to look be­yond smaller cities like Cairns and the Gold Coast when ex­plor­ing re­gional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The coun­cil met with Mem­ber for Mara­noa David Lit­tleproud yes­ter­day to dis­cuss is­sues fac­ing the re­gion, but also ad­vo­cate for the growth of the South­ern Downs.

Cr Do­bie said it was im­por­tant for re­gions to have a voice, as the coun­cil had dis­cussed their sub­mis­sion to the govern­ment’s In­quiry into the In­di­ca­tors of, and Im­pact of, Re­gional Inequality in Aus­tralia. The in­quiry com­mit­tee has also been in­vited to sit in ei­ther Stan­thorpe or Warwick.

“When state and fed­eral govern­ment think re­gional, they think about the Gold Coast and they think about Cairns or Toowoomba, they for­get that we are clas­si­fied as re­gional,” she said.

Cr Do­bie said the meet­ing was de­signed to en­sure Mr Lit­tleproud and the govern­ment keep the South­ern Downs in mind when mak­ing de­ci­sions.

This in­cluded when looking to de­cen­tralise power from the Can­berra po­lit­i­cal hub.

“We have all the in­fras­truc­ture here and we could eas­ily ac­com­mo­date a num­ber of gov­ern­men­tal staff if they’re looking at putting small groups out,” Cr Do­bie said.

“We do have the need for more em­ploy­ees and we’re looking for op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Dur­ing the visit Mr Lit­tleproud also launched the South­ern Downs and Gran­ite Belt Tourism

Mar­ket Re­search Pro­gram re­port, which was funded through the Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund.

“Agri­cul­ture is the com­mon thread that links Mara­noa to­gether, adding tourism to the boat broad­ens our eco­nomic base,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“We have a unique op­por­tu­nity close to Bris­bane, we can get day trip­pers and those start­ing their jour­ney in Queens­land head­ing to the out­back.”

Live ex­ports were also dis­cussed in the meet­ing, as were is­sues as­so­ci­ated with drought and wa­ter man­age­ment.

Cr Do­bie said Mr Lit­tleproud ex­plained the neg­a­tive im­pact dis­con­tin­u­ing live ex­ports would have on the re­gion, as there would be too many sheep and cat­tle.

“That would have an im­pact on our re­gion be­cause price would drop.”

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