This week I am attending the national annual gathering of councils in Canberra. This is a forum where local government adopts policy positions on matters to collectively advocate to the federal government on matters important to our local communities.
The annual event includes the Queensland breakfast, held yesterday, which was addressed by the Federal Minister for Regional Development Dr John McVeigh and the Shadow Minister Mr Steve Jones MP.
A striking feature of the morning was the respect and acknowledgement they had for each other and a recognition that both wanted to see a better regional Australia.
Far too often we see politicians relentlessly attacking the other side or other stakeholders, whereas most communities just want good leadership and constructive and respectful debate from their politicians.
I congratulate the Minister and the Shadow Minister on their mature and responsible approach to their roles.
We are only a week out from the release of the 2018/19 Gympie Regional Council Budget, to be endorsed at the ordinary meeting, Wednesday June 27. This follows on from the draft budget overview released for the first time to residents for comments and feedback. It was a very worthwhile exercise, as it allowed councillors and executive staff to hear directly from our community, what is important to them and to submit their ideas. This is certainly a process we will repeat next year.
Finally, on behalf of Council, I would like to pass on my sympathies to family and friends of the two young men who tragically lost their lives on the weekend. It is a tragedy to lose any lives on our roads, to lose those with their whole lives in front of them, makes it harder. If you are travelling through our region, please take care on our roads.