Cairns forum to focus on regional vaccinations

Published Monday, 22 November, 2021 at 06:28 AM

Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Cairns today will host the fourth and final Regional Community Forum for the Far North Queensland region for 2021, with local forum members, Ministers and Members of Parliament to work on increasing vaccination rates to protect the region from COVID-19.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said since 2019 the forums have been a platform to elevate regional voices in the State, and the local community representatives could now help to increase vaccination rates.  

“With just weeks to go until our border reopens and greater freedoms flow for vaccinated Queenslanders, we are getting the message out – vaccines are safe, effective and our best defence against COVID-19,” the Premier said.

“We want to ensure people living and working in regional Queensland are fully vaccinated to protect their health and the health of their family, friends and community.

“That’s why the vaccine rollout and sharing the opportunities that come with reopening our State will be a key focus of the final round of Regional Community Forums for 2021.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said other local leaders including Hospital and Health Service representatives have also been invited to all seven forums today to focus on the health and economic benefits of vaccinations.

“The Palaszczuk Government values the contributions that forum members make as community leaders,” she said.

“So now we ask them to do what they do best – help us to ensure more of our communities are vaccinated.”

Cairns will host Far North Queensland forum members, with Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford.

Forum chair and Member for Cairns Michael Healy said today's eighth round of Regional Community Forums will also be the last for existing forum members, with their terms to conclude at the end of 2021.

“Forum members have made profound contributions toward the region’s economic, social and environmental future over the past two years,” Mr Healy said.

“With the goal being creating new jobs, overcoming environmental challenges, or accelerating economic recovery, our forum members have shared their ideas to ensure the success and sustainability of the Far North.

“With COVID-19 posing significant challenges for tourism and hospitality along with the arts in the region, forum members have worked closely with State and local governments to support tourism investment and connect arts workers with available grants and initiatives. 

“I thank all of our forum members for their advocacy and advice, as we work together to create a prosperous and thriving community in the Far North.

Expressions of interest for new members on the Regional Community Forums can be made on the Advancing Queensland’s Regions website.

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


Media contact: Minister Crawford - Peter Michael 0477 948 091