Focusing on the future
While the wealth of minerals under its surface and the mining industry that has flourished around it remain the city’s lifeblood, Mount Isa City Council, for many years has focused on creating a sustainable city. This ensures that, while the pillars of industry – the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines lead and copper stacks – may dominate the skyline, they are not Mount Isa’s prime attraction.
The development of community recreation areas, community facilities and tourist attractions has played an important role in Mount Isa’s transformation and these continue to be a high priority for Council.
Since the last election in 2004, Council has been heavily involved in a number of major projects that provide opportunities for future economic growth, development and increased liveability. In 2005 Council began construction of a new residential housing estate at Healy Heights providing for over 500 new homes to be built in the city. Stages 1 and 2, comprising 48 blocks, sold out at auction and investors are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to purchase land in Stage 3, which is currently in the pre-development stage.
Council has also been a driving force behind developing and promoting the local tourism industry for many years, recently culminating in the completion of the 2007–2017 Mount Isa Tourism Strategy report. A joint project with the Mount Isa Tourism Association, the report has been adopted by both organisations to provide a strategic basis for tourism planning over the next ten years. This report highlights the current priorities in tourism development for the city and outlines the best structure for the management of tourism, how to source funding to support an efficient organisation and identifies the key stakeholders. An important outcome from the report has been the establishment of a steering committee to implement the recommendations and to eventually establish a fresh new organisation for the city focused principally on tourism promotion and regional development.
The grand opening of the Buchanan Park Events Complex in May celebrates another significant milestone for the city, and reinforces the importance of partnerships in providing world class facilities in rural communities. The project was funded by Federal, State and Local Government, each recognising the significance of the project to Mount Isa and the North West Queensland Region from the outset. This initiative also attracted support from international mining giant Xstrata whose $1 million dollar contribution is recognised in the naming of the complex’s Xstrata Entertainment Pavilion.
The new Events Complex offers a number of opportunities for the city and the Mount Isa community as the facility provides a venue for world class performers to stage elaborate shows, for rodeos and other livestock events and for shows, exhibitions, trade shows, awards ceremonies and gala functions. In fact, the list is endless.
The Leichhardt River Community Recreation Precinct is a large scale project Council is currently focused on. The planning and design stages of the project involved an extensive community consultation process resulting in the designs being formulated from community ideas. The precinct will beautify and link a stretch of the river between the Isa and Grace Street bridges to the CBD through a picturesque pathway. This will provide an easily accessible community area for social and recreation activities close to the heart of the city.