Crows Nest Regional Community Forum tomorrow

Published Sunday, 26 September, 2021 at 12:00 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

Crows Nest tomorrow (Sep 27) will host the third Regional Community Forum for the Darling Downs-South West region for 2021, with forum members, Ministers and Members of Parliament gathering to discuss priorities and projects which will continue the state’s economic recovery.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland’s strong health response has allowed the recovery to begin, with vaccinations the key to continuing along that path.

“To help us do that, the focus of the forums is to support local economic development ideas, and opportunities to further diversify local economies, using connections between regional people and their representatives in Government,” the Premier said.

“Almost two years on from the launch of our Regional Community Forums, Ministers, Members of Parliament and regional stakeholders will be in Crows Nest tomorrow for the seventh forum for the Darling Downs-South West region.

“Alongside discussions and panel sessions, these forums have given members the opportunity to visit local businesses, bear witness to innovative practices in regional industries, and hear directly from inspirational individuals, empowering regional and remote communities.

“We have been encouraged by all that the forums have delivered, helping us to stay safe and grow economically despite COVID-19.”

Crows Nest will host the Darling Downs-South West forum members, with Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
Di Farmer.

The forum will be chaired by the Member for Jordan Charis Mullen, the Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden and the Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard.

“Since 2019, forums in the Darling Downs-South West have connected with Regional Skills and Investment Strategy Officers across the region to advance training and skilling requirements for their communities,” the Premier said.

“And they have formed working groups to address key livability factors for the region, sharing findings with relevant bodies and working with the Balonne Shire Council to support the development of the Council’s Population Attraction Strategy.

“I’m grateful for the energy, optimism and expertise that forum members bring to this program, and I look forward to the ideas and next steps identified in this seventh round of Regional Community Forums.”

Ms Howard said the forums had showcased pioneering and innovative local businesses.

“At previous forums, members have visited DOM Distribution, a diverse manufacturer and machinery equipment distribution business in Dalby, operating in the region for more than 80 years,” Ms Howard said.

“And they have observed how Woods Group Algae Farm in Goondiwindi is using technology to extract omega-3 oil from algae as a sustainable alternative for fish oil and as a protein source for the stockfeed industry.

“These site visits always provide great insights and facilitate introductions, and I look forward to travelling with forum members this round, to meet with the entrepreneurs, business owners and employees making a difference and diversifying the economy in their region.”

Forum members will hear from guest speakers from the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and The Good Hood Toowoomba, discussing sustainable housing models and linking employment growth to local housing strategies.

Other forum topics include local manufacturing opportunities and the role of micro regions in building sustainable local tourism.

Forum members will also have an opportunity to experience the High Country Hamlets, with a visit to Pechey Distillery Co, the region’s first craft distillers.

Regional Community Forums will also be held in Far North Queensland, North-North West Queensland, Western Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Central Queensland and Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast.

The Regional Community Forums are part of the Queensland Government’s Advancing Queensland’s Regions strategy, supported by the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland.

For more information about Advancing Queensland’s Regions, please visit


Media contact: Minister Farmer – Kate Talbot 0439 803 211