Regional Road Map Updated to Address the Ever Changing Needs of Far North Queensland
QLD, Australia – (News4us.com) October 12, 2012
In its mission to provide ‘one voice’ on regional issues, opportunities and priorities, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Inc. (RDA FNQ&TS) has released an updated version of its Regional Road Map that following an extensive annual review, incorporates 11 Strategic Priority Packages.
According to RDA FNQ&TS chairman, Dr Allan Dale, the 2012-2013 Regional Road Map Update provides an analysis of the available local government community plans against the Strategic Priority Packages with interesting results.
“Overall, there was strong support from nearly all communities for our existing strategies and particular support for those addressing climate adaptation and transforming water and energy approaches.
“Most communities were also willing to work closely with their neighbours to obtain regional and long term benefits particularly in terms of infrastructure improvements. Notably new inclusions in the Regional Road Map underscore the need for more infrastructure in the area of bio-based industries, aviation links and pest control and pasture health.”
Dr Dale said the annual review process and updates to the Road Map were vital in what is a changing landscape.
“Since the original Road Map was launched in 2010, Cairns/Far North Queensland region has bypassed Townsville with the largest in population in tropical Australia. This has implications from a service industry perspective and our committee willwork with the three tiers of government in order to address increased regional capacity.
“Some achievements since the 2010 release include helping to secure the second stage roll-out of the NBN, influencing the destination of the G20 Finance Ministers’ Summit, supporting big infrastructure initiatives like the $12M Torres Strait Island sea walls project and cruiseliner access through Trinity Inlet dredging commitment, and focusing on Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) policy reform.
“Our committee’s primary focus over the coming year is on implementing the 11 Strategic Priority Packages in conjunction with Commonwealth, State and Local governments and relevant organisations.”
The Strategic Priority Packages take the six high level goals from the Road Map and turn them into strategies and initiatives for implementation. Each package is developed with key regional stakeholders and is used by RDA FNQ&TS to negotiate with Commonwealth and State governments in order to affect budgetary cycles. Whilst the packages may be driven by RDA FNQ&TS, they are owned by the regional partners best positioned to deliver the initiatives. Some of the findings from the Review Process that are now addressed by the 11 Strategic Priority Packages include:
- Supporting councils and private sector to facilitate strategic development of bio-energy industries including research and feasibility studies;
- Increasing more explicit partnership arrangements between the tropical knowledge research capacity in FNQ&TS and AusAID programs including strategic deployment of AusAID capacity in the region;
- Re-thinking current financing options for agricultural sector in order to reduce farm debt ratios; and
- Enhancing the ability of the region to maximise benefits from PNG’s current economic boom by reducing or removing ‘red tape’ blockages between the two countries.
The 11 Strategic Priority Packages are:
- Climate Adaptation (launched November 2011)
- Energy and Water Transformations
- Tropical Knowledge Economy
- Agricultural Futures (launched September 2012)
- Tourism and Aviation Futures
- Business and Resources Growth (to be launched October 2012)
- Strong Local Governance
- Social Planning and Development and Remote Service Delivery
- Land and Sea Livelihoods
- Devolved Government
The 2012-13 Road Map and Executive Summary can be downloaded at www.rdafnqts.org.au
About Regional Development Australia
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a partnership between Australian, State, Territory and local governments to strengthen regional communities. The national network of 55 committees which delivers RDA are made up of local leaders who volunteer their time to work with government, business and community groups to deliver better services to their regions. The committees work with their communities to find ways to deal with the economic, social and environmental issues affecting them. The regional Road Maps, produced by the local RDAs, will guide the committees in supporting improvements for their communities. The Australian Government funds these committees and so do State, Territory and local governments in some jurisdictions.
About Regional Development FNQ & TS
From Cardwell to the Cape, Torres Strait and inland to the Tablelands and taking in Croydon and Etheridge shires, the Far North Queensland and Torres Strait branch of Regional Development Australia (RDA FNQ&TS) takes in a vast and diversearea of the regional Queensland. It works to provide one voice in terms of regional issues and priorities and as such provides guidance and support to the many agencies, organisations and individuals working towards long term, sustainable growth, prosperity and wellbeing of this region. For more: www.rdafnqts.org.au
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