South East Queensland Mayors today declared the Lockyer Valley region well and truly open for business following the devastating January floods.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) board meeting was held at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre in Gatton this morning.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Councillor Graham Quirk said SEQ Mayors received an update on the recovery and rebuilding process across the SEQ region.
“There is no doubt that several South East Queensland councils were hit hard earlier this year,” Cr Quirk said.
“Today we were able to take stock of the rebuilding task, review some very significant achievements by SEQ Councils and their communities, and look to the future.”
Cr Quirk said SEQ Councils were facing some big decisions in the near future, particularly with regard to water reform.
“The State Government’s backflip on the water reform, without any consultation whatsoever with local government, was another slap in the face for local democracy in SEQ.
“SEQ Councils are still waiting for more detailed information from the Premier but what is clear is that the dismantling of the water utilities will have significant financial implications for our communities.
“All SEQ Mayors agree that our number one priority is to secure the best deal possible for SEQ ratepayers.
“And the best deal must include a commitment from the Premier to reduce bulk water charges, which are the major driver of water price increases.”
Following this morning’s meeting, SEQ Mayors took a ride around Gatton in a horse-drawn carriage, a preview to this weekend’s Heavy Horse Field Day at the Gatton Showgrounds, before taking a bus tour to Grantham and Murphy’s Creek to check out the rebuilding progress.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Councillor Steve Jones said the Council of Mayors (SEQ) meeting at Gatton signalled to individuals and businesses around the State, and Australia, that the Lockyer Valley was open for business.
“Hosting the Mayors of SEQ this morning was another step in spreading the word that we are back on our feet and ready to go,” Cr Jones said.
“We took a big hit earlier this year but through hard work and plenty of initiative by local government and the local community working together, the people of the Lockyer Valley are moving forward.
“What we need now is for the people of Queensland to get behind the Lockyer Valley and other devastated areas of the State and support local businesses and the local community.”