NQ councils bolster recovery taskforce

Date published: 25 May 2020

North Queensland’s recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic has been turbocharged with the north’s five local councils agreeing to join forces to accelerate the region’s recovery.

The North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NQROC), which represents the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville councils, met Friday to discuss the impacts of the pandemic and agreed to bolster the COVID taskforce with a North Queensland focus on recovery battleplans.

NQROC chair and Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said recovery would take time.

“North Queensland’s recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 will take time and the combined effort of all levels of government, business and industry,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“NQROC has a strong history of bringing our local councils together to work on projects that are beneficial to the North Queensland region and I am confident that will continue with the North Queensland COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce.”

Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor Frank Beveridge said it was important the local councils were leading recovery efforts.

“NQROC joining the recovery taskforce gives us a chance to get on the front foot,” Cr Beveridge said.

“COVID-19 has been completely devastating for North Queensland and I don’t think we will realise the full impacts for years to come.

“All we can do is the very best we can and clearly working as a group collaboratively we will get more out of the State and Federal governments.”

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo also backed the taskforce.

“There’s an old saying - united you stand, divided you fall,” Cr Jayo said.

“Effective engagement with the state and federal governments is vital to the success of the recovery. We need to address the jobs and social impacts in order to get people back on their feet.”

Townsville Mayor and COVID-19 recovery taskforce chair Jenny Hill said NQROC’s joining the taskforce was essential in ensuring the entire region recovered from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

“North Queensland is stronger when we are working together and that’s why it was so important that all local councils in the region are part of the journey to recovery,” Cr Hill said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the health, social and economic fabric of North Queensland.

“The taskforce has hit the ground running on addressing the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”