Queensland stages successful Local Government Week
From 28 May to 3 June, Queensland Councils joined forces with the Department of Main Roads to celebrate Local Government Week 2007. The week, themed ‘Roads – Pathways to Progress’, highlighted the importance of a well maintained road network for the economic wellbeing of the State.
Australian Local Government Association and Local Government Association of Queensland President, Councillor Paul Bell, launched the week.
“In Queensland, there are almost 220,000 kms of roads,” he said.
“While the Department of Main Roads looks after some 20 per cent of this network, the remainder of Queensland’s 180,000 kms of roads are controlled and maintained by Local Government.”
To increase awareness of Local Government’s contribution to this important resource, Councils celebrated the week by hosting various events throughout the State. Among them, Livingstone Shire held a ‘spot the pothole competition’ and Yarrabah Shire hosted a careers fair, specialising in careers in roads.
The winner of a Local Government Week street naming competition, in which Queensland high school students were given the opportunity to come up with the names of two streets for a newly constructed estate and explain why they chose those names, was 15 year old Trokon Gbone, of Milpera High School.
Trokon won a cash prize and named his streets Trokon (after his Christian name, which translates as ‘new world’) and Rokla (the name of his aunt, who is also his guardian).
Trokon is a humanitarian entrant to Australia, who arrived 11 months ago. He had spent most of his life in refugee camps in Africa after the disappearance of his parents in Liberia six months after he was born. Ms Adele Rice, Milpera High School principal, was delighted Trokon had won.
She said when Trokon was told about the competition, it was the first time he realised streets in Australia were named.
“He was particularly hopeful his aunt’s name would be chosen, as he feels she is very kind,” she said. “He hopes this kindness will be felt by the people living in the street.”
The winner of the annual Local Government Week primary school colouring competition was Terry Heslin from Warwick Shire District. Terry and his family travelled some 250 kms to Brisbane to attend the launch of Local Government Week in Brisbane Square and collect his prize along with Trokon.
A successful Business Breakfast was held at Brisbane’s Sebel Hotel, with the topic ‘Funding for Queensland Roads, Opportunities and Challenges related to the Federal Election of 2007’, discussed by keynote speakers, Federal MPs, Paul Neville (Hinkler) and Bernie Ripoll (Oxley).
Both promised greater consultation with Local Government and increased funding for Queensland Black Spot projects.
Local Government Week next year will be celebrated for the tenth time. Organisers say it will be bigger and better than ever.