Councils go "speed dating" as growth becomes hot topic

GROWTH of Queensland's regions was the hot topic at this weeks "landmark" local government meeting in Hervey Bay.

The Local Government Association Queensland Conference wrapped up yesterday after two days of outlook and discussion about the State's future.

In a 60 minute whip around the state described as "speed dating on steroids," council representatives touched on the issues that mattered to them.

Improved infrastructure and developing international relationships was a point made by several councils.

And as the slow roll out of the National Broadband Network continued, many representatives focused on upgrading their digital infrastructure to allow residents to telework successfully.

Arguably the highlight of the conference was the launch of the 30-year Queensland Plan at the conference by Premier Campbell Newman.

The plan aims to double regional Queensland's population by 2044.

LGAQ president Margaret de Wit hailed the "landmark" conference and said regional Queensland's prominence had never been greater.

She said the meeting gave councils and businesses the chance to use the Queensland Plan as a guide to shaping their region.

"How can they link what they're doing in their regions to the Queensland Plan and what the outcomes are expected from that," she said.

"There's no one sphere of government that's going to be able to do it on their own.

"It has given something everyone can aim for- to gear corporate and economic development plans."

Ms de Wit said the two-day meeting focussed on economic development, something many representatives from across the State were optimistic about.

"Everybody's really positive- they've found it a really useful conference," she said.

Mr Newman said he would introduce legislation to endorse the Queensland when parliament resumed.



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