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Mayor's Column - Longreach Leader 27 August 2021

Published: 30th August 2021

This column first appeared in the Longreach Leader on Friday 27 August 2021.

There’s always plenty happening in our region, and it’s good to be back with you for another fortnightly Mayoral update. Council had a big day last week when it held its August meeting in Yaraka. As I’ve mentioned before, we alternate our monthly meetings between Longreach and either Ilfracombe or Isisford – but once a year we head to Yaraka. It’s a big day, but very worthwhile. All our ordinary Council meetings are open to the public, and wherever we meet, we always welcome anyone who wants to join us in the gallery and see how we make our decisions. Yaraka has a great community hall and we enjoy meeting there.

One of the items on our agenda at the August meeting was to set dates for our bi-annual Community Consultation Forums. Our Community Forums are really important to everyone at Council. It’s a great opportunity for us to hear direct from our community. As Councillors, we’re talking to our people in our community all the time, but at the forums we get to have those important discussions with more people. I really encourage everyone to attend – the more people we meet with the better.

So save these dates in your diary – Yaraka and Isisford on Tuesday 12 October; Longreach on Wednesday 13 October; and Ilfracombe on Thursday 14 October.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for the forums to come around twice a year to give us your feedback. There are any number of ways you can share your ideas with us and report issues – not least of which being a simple phone call. But if that’s not your style you can send us an email, or use the very easy SnapSendSolve mobile app. 

As I remind readers every week, you can also reach out directly to our Councillors. You can find direct mobile numbers and email addresses for every Councillor, including myself, on our website. If there’s anything in our region that you want to know more about – please reach out to us.

In addition to the forums, Council will engage with specific stakeholders from time to time, and we had a great engagement with our region’s tradespeople this week at our Tradies Talk. The idea was to help our tradies make the most of the many opportunities there are to work with Council. As is expected these days, Council has very robust procurement practices in place that favour local providers. We want to make sure our local tradies have the support they need to comply with our procurement process and be competitive. We also want to make sure our projects are achievable and worthwhile for local suppliers and contractors. It was a good discussion – we had a chance to explain our processes as well as take on board some valuable feedback.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the QATB and Powerhouse Centenary events in Longreach recently. It was a great celebration of two sites that have played an important role in our community for 100 years.

I had the pleasure of unveiling a plaque at the Longreach Powerhouse. It ran under Longreach Shire Council control until 1966 when it came under the control of the Central West Regional Electricity Board and later the Capricornia Regional Electricity Board. It continued to generate electricity until 1985 when the town and district were linked to the state-wide electricity grid. The powerhouse was opened as the Longreach Powerhouse Museum in September 1994, and we’re proud to be keeping this remarkable heritage site open to visitors. I’d like to thank the Longreach Archival Research and Historical Group for their assistance over the celebrations, and for the invaluable role they continue to play in helping us preserve this history for future generations.

Until next time, you can find email and direct phone numbers and email addresses for me and for each of my fellow Councillors on our website at longreach.qld.gov.au/elected-members. If you want to know anything at all, reach out to one of us - or contact Council directly on (07) 4658 4111 (24hrs), or email assist@longreach.qld.gov.au.

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