Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole was originally from Canada and Council's Community and Multicultural Development Officer Dani Kinnear was from Zimbabwe, both now call the Balonne Shire home.
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole was originally from Canada and Council's Community and Multicultural Development Officer Dani Kinnear was from Zimbabwe, both now call the Balonne Shire home.

Call to arms: shire asks locals how best to grow the population

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.

Mayor Samantha O’Toole said since 2011 more than 500 people have left the shire.

Council has 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, 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.

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.”


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