RDA Mackay Whitsunday hosts Rural Futures Forum
Published: 15th June 2012
RDA Mackay Whitsunday (Queensland) organised a forum last month to allow some of the region’s most innovative thinkers to start working on a plan to ensure rural communities flourish and prosper.
The Rural Futures Forum held in Mackay on 22 May 2012 connected rural and regional representatives, RDA committee members and representatives from federal, state and local government.
The outcome of the forum was to develop a draft Rural Futures Statement, which will then be used to advocate for improved infrastructure and services for the region.
RDA Mackay Whitsunday Executive Officer Nicole Duguid said the forum was aimed at starting the conversations about positioning its rural communities for future success and sustainability.
“The purpose of the forum is to engage with key stakeholders in the region to develop a Rural Futures Statement that articulates the importance of rural communities as strong and viable sustainable economies,” Ms Duguid said.
Ms Duguid said rural communities contributed to the health, character, liveability and wealth of the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Region and as such, need to be supported with diversified economic development opportunities and the requisite infrastructure.
“Our region is growing exponentially and a Rural Futures Statement will advocate for balance between regional growth and land use change and increased rural production,” Ms Duguid said. “Urban communities depend on rural communities for their food so there has to be a balance and our rural industries have to be profitable and sustainable.”
The forum objectives included identifying key regional stakeholders and their role and contribution to rural futures’ work, identifying future opportunities and solutions for strong, viable and sustainable rural communities and industries and determining whether there is a need to create a more comprehensive Rural Futures Strategy and action plan from the Rural Futures Statement.
A Rural Futures Reference Group will also be established to address issues and identify solutions on an ongoing basis, to ensure rural communities remain vibrant with diverse economies and a sustainable future.
To find out more about RDA Mackay Whitsunday, visit the RDA Mackay Whitsunday website.