Somerset not ‘rural’, according to State Government
THE Somerset region has been left out of regional forums, with the government not listing it as a rural or regional area.
This is despite both Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley being classed a such.
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said the government had forgotten the Somerset region.
Mrs Frecklington asked a Question on Notice, asking Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk why the Somerset was excluded from the list of regional areas eligible to participate in Regional Community Forums.
The question contained several separate queries, which the premier answered - however no explanation was given as to Somerset's exclusion.
She asked for an explanation after complaints from community members who wanted to represent the Somerset at the forums, to held this Monday.
"The Premier showed an obvious disregard for the region by completely ignoring my question and providing no reasonable explanation for the Somerset being excluded," she said.
"This is extraordinary, especially when both the Lockyer and Ipswich regions are considered to be regional and rural by the Labor Government."
The opposition leader said the exclusion was "unacceptable" and that people from the Somerset also face many barriers.
"I would like to point out to the Premier that the Somerset region is a largely rural area and has been drought declared for some time, with many primary producers feeding livestock," she said.
"The Premier is promoting these forums as a way for regional Queenslanders to have their say. I question the Premier's sincerity when she doesn't even understand the Somerset is a regional area which obviously needs to be better understood by this city-centric government."
Mrs Frecklington also claimed this wasn't the first time the Somerset has been excluded by the government, with the Somerset Regional Council not eligible for the Works for Queensland funding.
The premier's office was contacted for comment.