Benefits from de-centralisation

GYMPIE Region Mayor Ron Dyne has summed up the Queensland Growth Management Summit, held Tuesday and Wednesday, as an “interesting two days”.

He said the majority of guests at the summit agreed that decentralisation was the best weapon in fighting overcrowding in South East Queensland (SEQ).

“We have an opportunity to come out of it quite well,” Councillor Dyne said.

But there was a problem with a lack of available industrial land in the region.

One solution, Cr Dyne said, was using the 43 per cent of unallocated State land in the region as industrial land.

At the summit he spoke to Premier Anna Bligh who said she was still looking at her diary to find a time to visit Gympie.

“All in all, people recognise difficulty with SEQ growth and that they should look at regional areas. It starts in Gympie and heads north and west.”

Cr Dyne said during workshops he “indicated Gympie was keen to grow” and take advantage of improved medical and educational facilities that come with a bigger population.

One of the more interesting things to come out of the summit, for Cr Dyne, was a presentation by demographer Bernard Salt.

Mr Salt said an extra 10,000 people would mean a five screen cinema complex and another shopping centre to a regional town like Gympie.

There was some controversy over the summit after Gympie Regional Council (GRC) was invited to nominate representatives to attend and was later told that those representatives had been unsuccessful in their application.

Cr Dyne said after hearing council was disappointed that the invitationwas revoked, he called the Premier’s office and staff scrambled to find a position for GRC at the event.

“When you consider the limited number of mayors there, it was a good achievement (for council). It was important (we attend) as we are on the cusp of SEQ and a lot of slippage, for better want of a word, could end up in Gympie.”

In closing the summit, Premier Bligh announced that the Government would develop a regionalisation strategy for Queensland.

“Over the last two days, we have heard loud and clear that regionalisation can play a greater role in managing our growth in the future,” she said.

Within two weeks, a summary of the proceedings will be available on the Queensland Growth Management Summit.

A response to ideas put forward is promised within six weeks.

Gympie Times

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