Regional Queensland to become even more welcoming for migrants

Helping regional councils create welcoming communities for refugees and migrants is the aim of a set of guidelines officially launched by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

The Planning for Welcoming and Inclusive Communities: Guidelines for Regional Growth was developed by Welcoming Cities and the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC).

Mr Hinchliffe said the resource would be invaluable to councils.

“I know there has been growing interest, particularly from our councils, around how to make regional communities more welcoming for new arrivals and to have the infrastructure in place to cater for growth,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These guidelines will better inform all local governments and other stakeholders about ways to plan for greater regional settlement in order to enrich and revitalise their communities.

“We have already helped three councils through Regional Partnerships Projects in developing strategies around welcoming new residents into their communities.

“Balonne, Bulloo and Paroo shire councils have been supported with $900,000 across three years to consult, plan and commence initiatives.

“We all know that we are lucky to call Queensland home and that regional areas are wonderful places to live, work and to raise a family.

“There is also no doubt that a welcoming community that makes new arrivals want to come and stay, can also benefit through the economic boost generated by population growth and new labour and skills.”

Welcoming Australia Chief Executive Aleem Ali said helping local governments was key to successful regional settlement.

“Of all tiers of government, local councils understand the complexity and nuance of their community and are best placed to facilitate a whole-of-community approach to advancing welcoming and inclusive communities,” Mr Ali said.

“These guidelines will assist regional, rural and remote councils to plan for growth.”

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