Proactive Council Brings in Record Funding for Mount Isa
Out-of-town meetings attended by Mayor Joyce McCulloch, Deputy Mayor Phil Barwick and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Ibardolaza have helped bring in almost $37 million in funding grants for the Mount Isa region in the first half of this term of Council alone.
On track to almost double the funding dollars brought in by the previous council’s full term, Mount Isa City Council now has representation on the Tennant Creek Mount Isa Cross-Border Commission and is a founding member of the Australian Mining Cities Alliance, and recently assisted Mayors throughout the region to lobby Federal Parliament in Canberra for funding and assistance for ongoing projects and prosperity in the North West.
In addition, the current Council adopted the first Economic Development Strategy for Mount Isa in 2017 to assist in diversifying the economy and driving economic development within the Mount Isa region.
“To effect this economic development, some travel is required to meet with various ministers, both at the state and federal level, as well as other proponents, to attract additional funding and achieve the goals outlined in the Economic Development Strategy,” Cr McCulloch.
“I don’t expect to have a strategy put together just to have it sit in the bottom drawer of my desk – I will build upon the strategy by meeting with people who can help to make things happen, and out-of-town and interstate travel is often an essential part of forming and maintaining strong working relationships and communication channels with senior representatives of the State or Federal governments, as well as with various proponents, which in turn can help secure vital funding for the Mount Isa area,” she said.
Cr McCulloch said the most effective way to achieve this - as well as to promote the city and its opportunities, thereby helping the region grow and prosper further - is through in-person, face-to-face meetings to build rapport, before following up with regular videoconferencing meetings.
“There are certainly times where I would rather stay in my office in Mount Isa and put my children to bed at night, but there are times when we need our community leaders out lobbying State and Federal Governments and promoting Mount Isa to the best of our ability,” she said.
“As we know, we don’t always get people coming out here, so we need to continue to expand, promote and advocate for the continued growth of the region, and this can’t always be done from behind a computer.”
Cr McCulloch said travel expenses are required to be included in Council’s annual report, in accordance with legislation.