Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to host a timber industry forum with representatives from the timber industry from right across the region.
Some interesting highlights regarding the timber industry is that almost 12% of the Gympie Regional Council land area is under licenced forest plantations and the industry accounts for the employment directly and indirectly, of approximately 815 people.
Another interesting statistic from 2016/2017 was that two thirds of the timber product produced from this region was attributed to wood product manufacturing. This accounted for almost $400million to our local economy for that year. The purpose of the forum was to bring together industry leaders so that the industry, in collaboration with Council, can advocate to the higher levels of government to not only support this vital regional industry but to also work with the two higher levels to expand the industry sustainably and grow employment.
Speaking of collaboration, last week I was fortunate to lead a delegation of Wide Bay Burnett Mayors to Brisbane where we met with a number of State Ministers to advocate on behalf of residents issues that not only impact us now, but will continue to do so into the future. Much discussion was had around water security over the next 20 years for not only the Gympie region, but also the entire Wide Bay Burnett.
When Councils work together, in collaboration with both the State and Federal Governments, broader issues can be addressed and great outcomes for our communities can be achieved.
Mayor Mick Curran