Blueprint for regional jobs

In the lead up to the State election, Queensland’s leading natural resource management body is urging all political parties to endorse its blueprint for securing rural and regional jobs and the viability of communities.

As the State’s rural industries continue to reel under the weight of soil loss, declining water quality, exotic pests and extreme weather events, rural jobs are evaporating and communities are withering.

Natural Resource Management Regions Queensland (NRMRQ) Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Drysdale, said the considerable expertise of NRMRQ and its 14 member groups has been brought to bear to develop a simple, five step plan to arrest the decline, strengthen rural and regional jobs, and ensure our communities are secure.

“Our member groups have more than 200 years of combined experience in what makes our regional communities tick; we know when we have a healthy, well managed landscape, we have productive rural industries that generate jobs and support our towns,” he said.

“Whoever forms government after the election, our Enhancing Living Landscapes, Delivering Local Livelihoods document is a blueprint for action.”

In relation to natural resource management in Queensland, Enhancing Living Landscapes, Delivering Local Livelihoods advocates:

  • a detailed set of guiding principles;
  • a five-year action plan targeting priority threats to viability and sustainability;
  • a State-wide NRM Council to ensure efforts are coordinated, effective, and focussed;
  • funding that recognises the ones who make a difference on the ground (landholders, communities, local NRM groups); and
  • increasing the ability of these key groups to deliver change.

When calling on the State’s political parties to endorse these five key components of the Enhancing Living Landscapes, Delivering Local Livelihoods document, Mr Drysdale said that while great progress has been made in managing Queensland’s natural assets, significant challenges remained and more work was needed.

“Every Queenslander and every community in Queensland benefits from a healthy landscape; there’s an economic and social dividend when we achieve an environmental dividend.”