Population Growth Needed in the South West
Balonne Shire Council will be calling for community input into the creation of a strategy to reinvigorate the region by attracting and retaining new residents.
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole said since 2011 more than 500 people have left the shire.
“Local businesses need skilled and unskilled workers, and want these workers to build a future in our shire,” she said.
“To meet those needs, Council joined the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Regional Partnership, a three-year State Government funded project, that aims to attract people to the south west.”
As part of the program, the Balonne Shire became the first Queensland Council to join the ‘Welcoming Cities’ group which provides pathways to enhance people’s relocation to new areas.
Cr O’Toole said becoming a ‘Welcoming Shire’ will enable the community to support secondary migrants so they feel like they belong and can actively participate in local life.
Cr O’Toole said Council’s Community and Multicultural Development Officer Dani Kinnear, along with representatives from ‘Welcoming Cities’ and the Department of Multicultural Affairs will hold community meetings across the shire at the end of July.
“We want each community to lead the discussion on how multicultural migration and settlement could work in their town, and what needs to happen for them to become a welcoming community that can support these new residents into their new lives.”
From the community consultation, a Multicultural Migration and Settlement Strategy will be developed, and a Steering Committee formed to drive the project forward.
“Our community already has many people from different cultures and places, and we invite everyone to consider what role they could play in this project that will enrich the social fabric of our region and build a better future for our place.”
For more information;
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole; m: 0428 887 100, e: Samantha.O'Toole@balonne.qld.gov.au