November 26, 2019
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and CEO Mark Pitt have an intense week of political lobbying planned in Brisbane and Canberra.
On Tuesday, the Mayor will meet with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to press the South Burnett’s case for future economic and water security.
And on Wednesday, he will be following this up at the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Council’s quarterly meeting in Brisbane, talking with MPs from both sides of the House to lobby on the region’s behalf.
Then next Tuesday, the Mayor and CEO will travel to Canberra to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd and Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien for similar lobbying at a Federal level.
Mr McCormack is Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Mr Littleproud is Minister for Water Resources and Drought.
Mayor Campbell said he will be pressing the State Government to begin planning for the future closure or repurposing of the Tarong Power Stations.
He believed the right time to start doing this was now, because the State Government was obliged to ensure the local economic effect of any future changes at Tarong was minimised.
The best way to do this was to expand the region’s water supply. This would open up opportunities for irrigated agriculture, industry and future growth of the South Burnett’s population.
He will also be underlining that the Kingaroy revitalisation project is more about replacing the town’s ageing underground infrastructure than the name suggests.
The Mayor said he would be arguing this case with both the Premier and State MPs.
In Canberra, Mayor Campbell intends to raise the recent issue of Paradise Dam’s depletion and the loss of 100,000 megalitres of water storage capacity in the Wide Bay-Burnett.
He will be pressing the case for upgrades to the South Burnett’s water supply, and underlining the need for Federal-State co-operation to do this.
Mayor Campbell said the latest round of lobbying follows on from similar discussions he has held with State and Federal MPs since taking office in 2016.
However, given the State Government’s recent decision to lower Paradise Dam’s storage capacity by almost half and the steadily worsening effects of the drought, he expects the latest round of discussions would have added significance.