Mayor O'Toole leads merger of southwest councils' groups.
Mayor O'Toole leads merger of southwest councils' groups.

The two main advocacy groups in the southwest will merge into one

THE southwest region’s two main advocacy groups will be merged into a single, stronger, representative body.

At the inaugural gathering of the Western Queensland Alliance of Council in Longreach this week, Balonne, Maranoa, Murweh, Quilpie, Paroo and Bulloo Shires have agreed to merge their existing advocacy groups – South West Local Government Association (SWLGA) and the South West Regional Economic Development Group (SWRED) to form the South West Regional Organisation of Councils (SWROC).

All six mayors involved voted to endorse the strategic document to merge the two organisations and create a new SWROC.

Each mayor will now take the strategic document to their respective councils, to agree on an action plan for officially forming the new organisation.

Balonne Shire mayor O’Toole helped usher this bold new era for the leaders of the southwest.

Mayor O’Toole said creating the new SWROC puts the leaders in a better position to advocate for all southwest communities at both a state and federal level.

“Taking this direct approach creates a much stronger alliance, and it will be very beneficial for our region in the long term,” she said.

“I am looking forward to continually advocating for our residents alongside my fellow southwest mayors.”

The SWROC strategic plan is due to be tabled at shire council meetings during early August, aiming for endorsement by all six councils in the southwest region.

The southwest councils are scheduled to hold their next meeting on September 10 to identify the structure and action plan for the new SWROC going forward.


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