THE Western Queensland Local Government Association of Queensland is meeting in Emerald this week, but unlike past meetings, this one is not open to the public.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor, and Chair of the Western Queensland Local Government Association Kerry Hayes said the change came due to protocols of visiting politicians.
“They like that in the actual conference forum that some of their comments are not necessarily embargoed, but they like the opportunity to address members directly,” Cr Hayes said.
“We’re quite happy to talk to the media afterwards.
“It’s certainly not something we imposed on them but I understand and certainly in some of the strategy and strategic budgeting that they’re doing perhaps it’s an opportunity of just sharing that with members first.”
The conference kicked off last night, and continued all day today with plenty of conversation about the biggest issues facing Western Queensland councils.
“Top issues is just the cost of those regional councils and remote councils being able to keep budgets balanced, keep providing infrastructure, and knowing just where they fit in to government strategies,” Cr Hayes said.
Also on the hit list was road funding, infrastructure, and drought.
“There’s a situation where 44 of 77 councils are now looking less viable,” he said.
“Remote councils, especially over the ranges, are now starting to say ‘how are we going to keep our budgets balanced’.”