Blackwater wants a voice on council
WITH last year's agenda dominated by the burgeoning workers' camp growth and development, the Blackwater Community Progress Group has shifted its focus to aesthetically enhancing the mining town.
Median strips, footpaths, parks and gardens top the list, according to chairman Kev Cracknell, as the group ramps up its community convictions in time for the local government elections on Saturday, March 31.
While Mr Cracknell has not definitively ruled out throwing his hat into the electoral ring, he said he would support any Blackwater, Duaringa, Dingo or Bluff resident who put their name on the ballot.
"I would certainly support any person who wanted to give a local voice to the area," Mr Cracknell said.
"We (the BCPG) haven't kicked as many goals as we'd have liked last year.
"I fear that if we don't have that local voice, things won't be happening for us, they'll be happening to us."
The new direction for the community advocacy group includes branching out to the wider regions including Rolleston and Springsure, Mr Cracknell said, because he and other committee members were concerned the mistakes played out in Blackwater would be repeated elsewhere.
He said the local council and State Government were yet to reach the appropriate balance between the mining industry and local community, but through continued advocacy, the BCPG would seek to ensure the right equilibrium was met.
"We would really like to work for those communities throughout the region to keep a local voice and reach the right balance," Mr Cracknell said.
Long-time Duaringa resident Charlie Brimblecombe confirmed he intended to nominate for election and run on a platform based on ensuring the residents in the eastern end of the Central Highlands got their slice of the ratepayers' pie.
"The current councillors have really done a good job, but I'd like to see more representation down this way," Mr Brimblecombe said.
"I come from a background as an irrigation farmer, so water is one of my main concerns."
To that end, he said, ensuring the region's water supply and other essential services were readily available to all residents at all times was vital.
Mr Brimblecombe said he would also work with the rural sector and the local council to review rates rises, particularly in Duaringa.