Dempsey will chair regional council group
BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey leads the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) after its members met on Zoom yesterday.
It is the first time the group made up of six local councils have met since the election in March, and Cr Dempsey fills the chairman position left by former Gympie Mayor Mick Curran, who lost the election.
Cr Dempsey was confirmed as Bundaberg's WBBROC representative in last week's ordinary council meeting, although previously held the group's treasurer role.
North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers fills the deputy chairwoman position left by the former South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell.
Cr Dempsey said the council group had an important job in uniting together and lobbying state and federal governments for transport, communications, health and water security in the region.
"The region's voice needs to be heard more loudly in Brisbane and Canberra," he said.
"Our member councils will work as a team to make sure we get our fair share of investment from the other levels of government.
"We've been identified as one of the most disadvantaged regions in Australia and we need to address that," he said.
But at the same time, Cr Dempsey said the region was "one of the best" in Australia for its lifestyle, agriculture, and people.
A Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs spokesman said the government supported the collaboration between councils.
"Regional Organisation of Councils such as WBBROC are also playing an integral role in how councils and their communities respond to the impacts of COVID-19, including co-ordinating delivery of regional economic initiatives," he said.