Spotlight on Local government issues

Mayors and councillors from across Queensland will tackle the issue of population growth next week at the 114th Local Government Association of Queensland conference to be held in Mackay.

Themed “People and Places”, the four-day conference from August 30 to September 2 will explore community engagement, the growth of the resources sector and how to tackle population growth.

Mayor Col Meng said the LGAQ State Conference was the second major local government gathering that the city had hosted this year.

“Apart from the significant economic benefits, it provides us with a real opportunity to promote what we are doing well,” he said.

“About 600 delegates will stay, eat and enjoy our region,” he said.

Accommodation in the city centre is at a premium and virtually every meeting room in the Civic Precinct will be utilised for conference workshops.

Mackay last hosted the conference in 2004; however plenty has changed, including council amalgamation, construction of lifestyle facilities such as the Bluewater Lagoon, Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre and Bluewater Trail.

Guest speakers include Mark Doonar from Tract Consulting, Local Government Minister Desley Boyle and Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche.

Cr Meng said the current uncertain national political climate would be a hot topic for debate among council leaders, as well as the need for improved relations with the Queensland Government.

“We need to be united in the message we deliver to State and Federal politicians, Cr Meng said.

Cr Meng said the conference had potential to deliver significant benefits to the ongoing development of Queensland.