Blackall hosting Western Queensland Regional Community Forum

Published Friday, 17 March, 2023 at 03:30 PM


Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

Assistant Minister for Local Government
Ms Nikki Boyd

  • Education, training and employment pathways, health and wellbeing, workforce attraction and retention and regional service delivery are in focus as the members of the Western Queensland Regional Community Forum gather in Blackall on Monday.
  • The Forum is chaired by the Assistant Minister for Local Government Nikki Boyd, with Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Leanne Linard, also attending.

The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan provides further investment opportunities right around the state, to deliver clean, reliable energy to Queenslanders.

Since 2015, approximately $300 million has been invested in more than 100 megawatts of renewable energy, supporting approximately 300 construction jobs for Outback Queensland

Estimated additional investment in electricity infrastructure for Outback Queensland of $1.1 billion by 2040.

Western Queensland’s proud mining heritage will continue to grow as we connect mineral rich regions to the National Electricity Market.

Western Queensland’s mining workforce will meet the increased demand for nickel, cobalt, vanadium and zinc required to produce batteries and components, made here, by Queenslanders, for Queenslanders to export to the world.

Forum members will visit key projects in the region, including the heritage tourist experience, Blackall Woolscour.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Leanne Linard:

“Forum members are making an important contribution to the future of Western Queensland, with a focus on health and wellbeing services, education options and improving the key economic infrastructure enablers such as water, roads, rail and digital connectivity.” 

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Local Government Nikki Boyd:

“I would like to thank the Forum members for their outstanding work throughout 2022 and I look forward to another great year ahead.”.

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan will support improved liveability in Western Queensland, and the input from the Forum members to the Central and Western Queensland Regional Infrastructure Plan supports a brighter future for the region.” 

Fast Facts

  • Since the introduction of Buy Queensland on 1 September 2017, the Queensland Government has invested, through procurement, $1.13 billion with 4,060 businesses in Outback Queensland, as at 31 December 2022.
  • Since 1 July 2016, Back to Work Employer Incentive Payments have supported 177 jobseekers into employment with over $2.1 million in funding paid to 89 employers in the Western Queensland region, as at 28 February 2023
  • The Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-2023 has supported 21 businesses in Western Queensland with grant funding totalling more than $111,000
  • Since 2015, $1.79 million has been invested in the Western Queensland region under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to provide nationally recognised training, skills development and job opportunities to 196 disadvantaged Queenslanders. As at 28 February 2023, 192 people have received assistance with 166 securing a job as a direct result of participating. This includes four community delivered projects worth $244,990 and $1.55 million allocated to seven local councils under the First Start program  
  • Queensland Government investment under the Outback Queensland Regional Action Plan 2022-23 includes:
    • $3.2 million for refurbishments to Barcaldine Hospital, including the repair and replacement of structural piers under the building, structural flooring, and water treatment plant and equipment
    • $500,000 out of a total $4.8 million spend for refurbishments to Longreach Hospital, for the rectification of structural issues, electrical and mechanical services, and installation of new water tanks and a water treatment plant
    • $410,000 out of a $1 million total spend to support the Diamantina Shire Council to undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure works, as part of the 2021-24 Works for Queensland program.

 Further Background

  • The Western Queensland Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state on Monday, with similar Forums for Far North Queensland, North North West Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Central Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett Fraser Coast, and Darling Downs South West Queensland.
  • This is the first meeting of the Forum members in 2023, with three more Regional Community Forums scheduled throughout the year.  
  • 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, visit Advancing Queensland’s Regions