Council learns from tour

Two Maranoa councillors have travelled to the USA and Canada for a study tour to gain a deeper understanding of strategies and methods used in communities with established resource industries.

The 16-day Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise Study Tour saw Deputy Mayor Scott Wason and Councillor Cameron O’Neil travel to a number of locations where the resource industry has exploded, meeting people and learning essential information to help Council ensure the Maranoa prospers during and after the resource boom.

Items investigated on the tour include:
  • how to support local business in taking advantage of opportunities that may arise
  • the role of local government
  • sustaining regional communities after the resource industry’s life cycle
  • how matters regarding labour, IT, education and skilling, housing and housing affordability, community services and industrial development have been dealt with
  • how to collect data
  • matters regarding the environment eg. ground disturbance management and site restoration and re-vegetation.

Prior to departing, Councillor Wason said the tour was a fantastic opportunity for Council.

“As our region is still relatively young in the industry, I am excited about the prospect of bringing valuable information back to Council.

“This tour allows us to see tried and tested methods and strategies that we could potentially use here in the Maranoa to counteract common issues local governments across the globe experience due to resource industry growth.

“We will be seeing first hand what works, what doesn’t and what Council should be doing long-term to keep our region a place that residents want to live and work.”

Cr O’Neil, Portfolio Chair for Economic Development and Master Planning, said he was keen to learn how smaller communities in the USA and Canada have used the resource boom as a way to secure a sustainable future for local businesses, industry and their communities.

“During the tour, we will meet with chambers of commerce and community groups; I look forward to hearing the good and the bad from their individual positions and learning from their experiences.”