Members of South West RED met earlier this week to discuss a range of issues centred around economic development.
One of the exciting ticket items that came out of the meeting is a new partnership between South West RED and the University of Southern Queensland.
“We discussed everything from the wild dogs and the sheep industry to partnering with the University of Southern QLD to host an international study on South West and a community Nabraska.
“One of the things we’re looking at doing with the University is to look at ways that we can introduce endangered species back into areas as well as getting pests out.
“It’s more about using ‘the fence’ more strategically and with a bigger picture in mind,” says Clare Mildren, Executive Officer of South West RED.
One thing that was across the board for all members of South West RED was taking a look at the money being spent on wild dogs, and whether graziers and councils are actually seeing justifiable results.
“There needs to be a more collaborative approach with graziers who collect scalps for money from certain councils.
“We just need to engage those that are impacted a little bit more and work together,” says Ms. Mildren.
The University of Southern Queensland bring with them a wealth of knowledge, including Professor Jim Cavaye who will head the project and Dr Ben Allen who is an invasive animal researcher
“Professor Jim Cavaye has a lot of experience with regional economic development.
“This is about using his knowledge and allowing him to collect data on how we can do things better and differently,” says Clare.
South West RED Receive $200,000 in funding
The big announcement that came out of the recent South West RED meeting was the receivership of $200,000, which was awarded to the group by the State Development Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham.
“We’re extremely grateful and we do have to acknowledge Dr Lynham on the record because he’s been so supportive of our organisation and so supportive of the South West QLD region in an economic development stake,” says Clare Mildren, Executive Officer of South West RED.
What the money will go towards hasn’t yet been established by South West RED, but Ms. Mildren says it will definitely be for something that will benefit the whole region.
“The way that some of our meetings have been going, and from the discussions around the community, the money will be looked at for projects that can add value across the whole area that we’re all interested in.
“Usually that would be something like tourism, or wild dogs. Something that we can all benefit from and making that dollar go further,” she says.
We’ll have more on the outcomes of the South West RED meeting in next weeks Regional Report, including a regional economic event coming to Charleville in May.