Welcome to the December 2019 issue of the WBBROC newsletter.
Visit our new website at www.wbbroc.org.au for up-to-date information about our organisation, projects and events!
WBBROC - 20 years on!
Did you know that the first WBBROC meeting (with 23 Councils at that time!!) was held in 1999, with Cr Bill Trevor (Isis Shire) as Chair? So 2019 marks a 20-year milestone for WBBROC!
The 2008 Local government amalgamations reduced the number of WBBROC Councils to 6 and the collaboration between these Councils has gone from strength to strength since then.
Achievements over the years include the collaboration on telecommunications blackspots with all 6 Councils combining to engage an independent consultant to collect data and develop a detailed report and priorities. As a result of this collaborative work, the Wide Bay Burnett region received 17% of federal black spot funding in Queensland – close to twice as much as it should have received.
New Economic Strategy
Earlier this year, WBBROC endorsed its new Regional Economic Development Strategy 2019-2024. The Minister for State Development, Cameron Dick, wrote to WBBROC strongly supporting the strategy and pledging the support of his Department. That support has been very forthcoming.
The new Strategy concentrates on 6 key industries identified as being instrumental to the future economic potential of the region. To help REDAC implement the Strategy, WBBROC has agreed to employ a full-time Regional Economic Development Manager. Gary Warrener, the successful applicant for this role, will commence work in early January.
New Regional Plan
Cameron Dick, the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning recently announced that the Wide Bay Burnett would be the next region to gain a new Regional Plan. This will be one of the new-generation regional plans with a strong focus on the economic development of the region, and will help coordinate and focus future planning by all Queensland Government agencies.
The WBBROC Mayors, the Minister and the REDAC Chair make up the high-level Regional Planning Committee and a number of working groups, including REDAC, will provide advice on the various aspects of the plan. Once a draft plan has been developed, it will go out for public consultation.
Trapping feral cats
Officers from the Wide Bay Burnett regional local governments and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service recently attended a feral cat trapping workshop hosted by the Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers. Funded by the Queensland Government’s Better Partnership Project, the workshop, which was held at the Bunya Mountains, stepped officers through trap selection and trap placement techniques for the trapping of feral cats.
Feral cats are one of the greatest threats to Australia’s biodiversity and have caused the extinction of a number of ground-dwelling birds and small to medium-sized mammals. They occupy more than 99.8 per cent of Australia’s land mass, and carry a number of diseases that can be transmitted to native animals, domestic livestock and humans.
Feral cats are recognised as a priority pest in the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Biosecurity Strategy, with all of the Wide Bay Burnett’s local governments providing varying trapping options.
March 2020 marks the end of the current 4-year term of the WBBROC Mayors and Deputy Mayors. They should be proud of what has been achieved in that time by taking a united approach. The list below is just a sample of what has been achieved over that time, with the strong support of WBBROC’s advisory committees:
The current Waste to Energy Feasibility Study
The study investigating the economic benefits of a regional landfill)
Addressing communication gaps with the regulator (Department of Environment)
As 2019 draws to a close, the WBBROC team would like to thank everyone for their support, the regional collaboration that has been embraced and your consistent cooperation. Without that support, we would not have achieved what we have.
Season’s greetings and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration in 2020 and beyond.
WBBROC MEETING DATES
WBBROC will be meeting on the following dates in 2020: