Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge is back in town and hopes his trip to Canberra this week will successfully be a starting point for gaining funding for our region.
Cr Beveridge says water and roads were among the key issues discussed with both areas needing improvement in and around Charters Towers.
“Any time that you can knock on the doors of parliament and explain your situation in regional Australia is a good thing,” he says
“Clearly when they’re down in Canberra they can be a bit detached from our situation up here in North Queensland.”
The Development of Northern Australia White Paper was the catalyst for the meeting, organised by the Minister for North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke, which included other regional council mayors.
“This particular document actually maps out a procedure to get Northern Australia developed…it’s obviously the start and it’s not as much as we’d like but if we go down there and let them know exactly what we want (it’s a start),” he says.
“We were there selling our message.”
And that message is the need for upgraded resources in and around our region.
There’s a lot of money being made available but Cr Beveridge says it’s not going to be easy securing all of what we need.
“We’re going to need to fight for our share of all of the money,” he says.
It’s exciting times for the Towers region following the release of the Queensland Inland Roads Action Plan in town on Monday.
“This is the first time ever that we’ve got one document encompassing most of Queensland giving some clear direction to the State and Federal Government on where we want the money spent,” Cr Beveridge says.
RACQ Executive Manager for Public Policy Michael Roth says $5 billion will be spent across the state in the next 18 years to develop inland roads
“The Bruce might be the State’s backbone, but our inland roads are the vital veins and muscle Queensland needs to stay strong and keep growing,” Mr Roth says.
“This plan covers almost 82 percent of the entire state, a network of more than 16,000 kilometres of road, and future investment in its upkeep and growth is essential.”
Cr Beveridge assures locals that council is doing everything they can to further improve the region.
“There’s no fund out there that we’re not actively chasing right now.”
See our regional report next week for further details on the Mayor’s visit.