Supporting the Bush

This State Election, councils have a set of priorities that will create around 29,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in economic opportunities for all Queenslanders.

Almost 40 per cent of Queensland’s population lives outside major metropolitan areas. Rural and remote communities contribute significantly to Queensland’s economic prosperity and social fabric.

Despite the challenges of servicing small widely dispersed communities and limited revenue sources, bush councils often step in to deliver community services provided to urban populations by other levels of government, the private or not-forprofit sectors.

One-size-fits-all government policies invariably generated in a big city environment – regularly ignore the unique circumstances existing in rural and remote economies.

To ensure the contribution of our rural and remote communities is recognised, and the challenges and disadvantages of our bush councils are better addressed, local government asks all political parties contesting the 2020 State Election to guarantee they will:

  • Sign a Bush Councils Compact and commence implementation within the first 100 days.
  • Reinstate the Western Roads Upgrade Program with $25 million per year for 4 years
  • Review the Stock Route Management Regulation 2003 to establish a user pays system
  • $5 million per year for 4 years for cluster fencing and extending the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative
  • $100,000 to review the Darling Downs Moreton Rabbit Board Land Protection Fund payment area and the methodology used for the Wild Dog Barrier Fence.

Priority

Sign a Bush Councils Compact and commence implementation within the first 100 days

Description

  • A formal partnership between the Queensland Government and the LGAQ that establishes new standards and commitments by government to better support Bush Councils and improve understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural and remote communities.
  • A practical investment and engagement framework that guides government policies, programs and regulatory arrangements so bush councils can deliver the essential infrastructure and services their communities need.
  • An annual report on the State of Our Bush Communities, including an independent assessment of government program and service delivery to these communities.
  • Regulatory Impact Statement on all proposed legislation likely to impact rural and remote communities and a co-ordinating comment on all Cabinet submissions.
  • “Bush Champions” scheme for departmental directors-general.

Benefits

  • Greater awareness across government of the impact of funding, policy, and legislative decisions on bush councils.
  • Greater certainty of funding over the forward estimates to enable bush councils to confidently plan and deliver infrastructure and services.
  • Greater policy and regulatory flexibility that takes into account local circumstances and does not hinder the growth and prosperity of bush communities.
  • Better program and project management to enable bush councils and the Queensland Government to effectively deliver essential infrastructure and services and to track outcomes.

Priority

Reinstate the Western Roads Upgrade Program with $25 million per year for 4 years

Description

  • Targeted road widening and sealing works across western Queensland

Benefits

  • Sustain local workforces
  • Improve road safety outcomes
  • Improve supply chain connectivity and access
Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 129.0 Direct $43.0M
Indirect 535.1 Indirect $84.2M
Total jobs over 4 Years 664.2 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $127.3M

Priority

Review the Stock Route Management Regulation 2003 to establish a user pays system.

Description

Introduce a fair user pays system for managing the stock route network on behalf of the State Government. Currently councils recoup just 4 per cent of expenses, costing ratepayers $4.6million per annum.

Benefits

Greater cost recovery for councils will ensure they can:

  • Improve management and maintenance of the network to safeguard this resource for agricultural producers.
  • Provide greater support for graziers who rely on this resource, particularly in times of drought as a food source for their livestock.

Priority

$5 million per year for 4 years for cluster fencing and extending the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.

Description

  • Construct cluster fencing to protect stock from wild dog predation
  • Pursue weed management projects in regions via the State endorsed regional biosecurity sub-committees, including those species likely to become prolific in response to a changing climate.

Benefits

  • Improves Queensland landscape condition and productivity through accelerated invasive species management.
  • Safeguards and boosts agricultural productivity by improving landscape condition through the removal of weeds and eliminating wild dog predation of stock.
  • Improved predictability for growers’ and graziers’ annual yield results and improved long-term planning and investment
  • Greater economic and job certainty for rural communities.
Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 58.4 Direct $7.4M
Indirect 109.0 Indirect $16.9M
Total jobs over 4 Years 167.3 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $24.4M

Priority

$100,000 to review the Darling Downs Moreton Rabbit Board Land Protection Fund payment area and the methodology used for the Wild Dog Barrier Fence.

Description

Review calculation methodologies so councils who proactively invest in controlling wild dogs are not forced to pay more and the costs of managing the impact of wild rabbits is more evenly shared

Benefits

A fairer approach to managing the costs of controlling wild dogs and rabbits, which has widespread benefit for Queensland’s economy as a whole.

Jobs Economic Contribution
Direct 0.4 Direct $0.1M
Indirect 0.6 Indirect $0.1M
Total jobs over 4 Years 1.0 Total GRP over 4 Years ($M): $0.1M