‘Absolutely thrilled’: Representative for southwest named
ROBYN Fuhrmeister is 'absolutely thrilled' about being a vocal representative of southwest Queensland.
With a local government career that spans almost three decades, this week the Balonne Shire councillor was selected by the six southwest Queensland councils (Balonne Shire, Maranoa Regional, Murweh Shire, Paroo Shire, Quilpie Shire, and Bulloo Shire) to serve as the District Five representative for the Local Government Association of Queensland.
For the past four years, Maranoa Regional councillor Cameron O'Neil has held the position.
Cr Fuhrmeister said she thanked Cr O'Neil for the contributions he had made to the region, but was looking forward to having an opportunity to speak up and enact change.
"It's a great privilege to have that chance to be a voice for the southwest region. Now I have a chance to make my voice heard on a regional level," Cr Fuhrmesiter said.
"It will be an opportunity to have an input on policies and procedures, and I'm so unbelievable grateful to have the support from other councils to represent the region."
In the past four years, Cr O'Neil has been responsible for a number of initiatives, like the Bush Council Convention.
"I've been proud of a couple of things, first was ensuring that the southwest secured the Bush Council Convention and we didn't lose it to the central west," he said.
"It was a really positive achievement and allowed us all in the southwest to showcase what we have been doing in our region in terms of local government.
"Same with advocacy for the Bush Compact formation that I championed with Rob Chandler and Belinda Murphy, recognising the need to ensure issues across the southwest, northwest are well articulated to government.
"We took a resolution to floor of the conference and that was overwhelmingly supported and the association should develop and advocate Bush Compact and get the government of the day, and other parties to agree to develop regional parts of the state.
"I'm looking forward to seeing that come to fruition."
Cr Fuhrmeister was voted 5-1, with Quilpie Shire Council voting for Cr O'Neil to maintain the role he had held for several years.
Cr Fuhrmeister said her main priority was making sure southwest Queensland wasn't forgotten, as the state looks to move forward following the devastating impact of the coronavirus on almost every industry.
"My number one priority is that the region has a voice at the table, and ensure we all work together in partnership," she said.
"There's a lot to be done to enhancing all our industries, especially tourism, to bring extra dollars into the region."
Transparency is of high importance to Cr Fuhrmesiter, and she welcomes the opportunity this role will give her among her own community.
"This means whatever is discussed at a state level is brought back to the local council, and we ensure there is transparency for our constituents," she said.
"I'm extremely grateful and proud."