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Darling Downs

In this edition:

Message from the Premier

It is sobering and shocking that more than 175 Queenslanders are reporting incidents of domestic violence in the home every day. This number is far too high.

Recently, I announced a taskforce lead by Dame Quentin Bryce, our former Governor-General, which will look into domestic violence across Queensland with the aim of shining a spotlight on a crime that touches too many families.

Ms Bryce along with members of both sides of Parliament, community leaders and not-for-profit organisations will travel the state to see and hear from Queenslanders on how we can better protect our most vulnerable.

We will use community feedback as a basis for developing a domestic violence strategy that will make a real difference to the safety of Queenslanders.

We’re committed to ensuring Queensland is the safest place to live, work and raise a family and this is a significant step in overcoming one of the great scourges on our society.

Campbell Newman
Queensland Premier

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The Queensland Plan—next steps

The Queensland Plan is all about planning ahead and driving the future direction of Queensland for the next 30 years. With the launch of the plan in July, the Queensland Government has listened to your views, visions and priorities for growth and prosperity and has responded with its approach to implementation.

To help put your views into action, the government has outlined a number of key actions that make a direct contribution to delivering the community’s vision. The response identifies how the plan will help shape government policy, planning and service delivery, and specifies a number of short- to medium-term priorities.

The first step in implementing the plan is outlining legislation. Queenslanders want to see state planning over the long-term beyond the electoral cycle. By legislating The Queensland Plan the governments of today and tomorrow will be committed to delivering on Queenslanders’ vision for community development.

The Queensland Plan Ambassadors Council will also ensure the community vision remains in the hands of Queenslanders. Through advocacy, independent advice and leadership, the ambassadors will work with the government to drive the plan’s implementation across the state.

But the government can’t do this alone. Everyone has a role to play. As Queenslanders, you’ve helped create the plan and your support is now needed to put it all into action.

Find out more about The Queensland Plan.

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Baby sling safety

When used correctly, a baby sling can be a safe and practical tool for parents. Babies can, however, be at risk of suffocation if they are not placed the right way in a sling. With such precious cargo at stake it’s important to ensure the device is used safely and the T.I.C.K.S. rules are applied:

  • Tight—The sling should be tight, with the baby positioned high and upright with head support.
  • In view at all times—The wearer should always be able to see the baby’s face by simply looking down.
  • Close enough to kiss—The baby should be close enough to the wearer’s chin that by tipping their head forward they can easily kiss the baby on top of its head.
  • Keep chin off chest—Ensure the baby’s chin is up and away from its body.
  • Supported back—The baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with its tummy and chest against the wearer.

Find out more about baby sling safety.

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Supporting Women Scholarships

Are you a woman looking to work in a traditionally male-dominated field? If so, a study scholarship from the Queensland Government could help you on your way.

Scholarships of up to $20,000 ($5000 per annum) are available for women from all backgrounds and at all stages of their career to study in a range of traditionally male-dominated fields including agriculture and environmental studies, engineering, earth sciences, architecture and building, and information technology. The third round of the Supporting Women Scholarships is open until 2pm on 10 October 2014, for study commencing in 2015.

Find out more about the Supporting Women Scholarships program.

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Nature Play Queensland—adventure awaits!

Photograph: Nature Play

Calling all Queensland kids! It’s time to shift from screen time to green time and make playing outdoors and exploring your backyard, your local parks and national parks a bigger part of your everyday life.

Nature Play Queensland—a $1.5 million initiative supported by the Queensland Government and administered by the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation—is designed to encourage kids and their families to visit our iconic parks and places, and engage with nature and the environment through activities such as climbing a tree, visiting a beach or camping under the stars.

The signature program of Nature Play Queensland is the Passport to an Amazing Childhood. The program invites kids to sign up online for their free passport and then head outdoors to complete a series of age-appropriate missions.

Find out more about Nature Play Queensland.

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Lights, camera, action for Queensland backyards

Have you ever thought your home is the perfect location for a film set? If so, you can now register your home on a brand new iPhone app.

Screen Queensland has developed the app, powered by industry leaders Reel Scout™, to give Queensland an important competitive edge in attracting screen productions to the state. The app allows users to search images and data from Screen Queensland’s online Locations Gallery, Crew and Facilities Directory and enables filmmakers both here and abroad to pin down the ideal location for their screen project. It also gives Queenslanders the unique opportunity to see their backyard play a starring role in film and television productions.

Aside from local backyards, the app lists impressive locations such as the Drumsara Rainforest in Far North Queensland, which was featured in the television series The Pacific, the Chun Chung Tian Temple in Logan and North Stradbroke Island.

The app is available for free on iPhone from the iTunes App Store.

Find out more about the new Screen Queensland app.

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Domestic and family violence taskforce established

In 2013 there were more than 64,000 reported incidents of domestic violence in Queensland.

To help put a stop to domestic and family violence, the Queensland Government has established a special bipartisan taskforce, to be chaired by former Governor-General, the Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO. The taskforce has the important job of consulting with communities and key stakeholders across the state and then delivering recommendations in February 2015 that will inform the development of a coordinated domestic and family violence strategy.

As a community we can all play a part in tackling this very important issue.

Find out more about the taskforce on domestic and family violence.

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Powering our regions into the future

Photograph: ben vos productions

The recent launch of the Queensland Government’s RegionsQ Framework signals the first step in supercharging our regional economies and enhancing prosperity and job opportunities in the regions.

The flagship initiative of the RegionsQ Framework is the identification of a number of projects of regional significance where focused action, in partnership with the private sector, can accelerate regional economic growth. At this stage, the following projects have been identified as Projects of Regional Significance with the potential for significant future growth:

  • Burdekin catchment development
  • Cairns Airport aviation precinct and commercial precinct
  • Charlton-Wellcamp precinct near Toowoomba
  • Cooper Basin development
  • Galilee Basin development
  • Gulf Rivers agricultural zone
  • North West minerals province
  • Springfield health precinct
  • Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital/Kawana health precinct.

Following community consultation, the government will release the RegionsQ Action Plan and outline steps to achieve Queensland’s vision for the regions.

Find out more about the RegionsQ Framework.

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Educational apps just a click away

Students and parents now have educational information at their fingertips, with the Queensland Government’s recent launch of new education-based apps.

Apps such as QSchools enable parents to receive up-to-the-minute information about their school. Other apps, covering a range of topics from how to make friends to improving literacy, are designed to help students and families navigate schooling issues in an easy-to-use format.

With the convenience of instant download to an iPhone, Android smartphone or iPad, the apps allow students to enhance their education on-the-go, while parents can be instantly informed of important school news.

Find out more about the educational apps.

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Cool shorts:

Free workshops for sports volunteers

Are you a sports volunteer looking to learn more or gain new skills to help develop your club?

The Queensland Government runs a range of free workshops for community sports volunteers, covering everything from coaching principles and sports strapping, to marketing and financial management.

Find out more about the workshops.

Photograph: Tourism and Events Queensland

Have your say on fishing in Queensland

The Queensland Government is currently undertaking a review of Queensland’s fisheries management in order to deliver a better system for the state’s commercial and recreational fishers.

If you’re interested in Queensland’s fishing industry, this is a chance to have your say. Submissions close 30 October 2014.

Find out more about the fisheries management review.

Mentoring for Growth program

If you’re an innovative business experiencing rapid growth, or have the potential to grow but are facing challenges, the Queensland Government’s Mentoring for Growth program may be what you need to move your business forward. The program assists eligible businesses by providing access to a panel of expert business mentors.

Find out more about the Mentoring for Growth program.

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Toowoomba Range roadworks wrap up

After 16 months of repair and reconstruction works, the estimated 23,000 vehicles that use the Toowoomba Range each day are now enjoying clear, safe travel on this vital stretch of road.

The $80.5 million project—jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments—has addressed road damage to the Warrego Highway caused by the major flood event of 2011 and rains of 2013 and ensured ongoing access to a critical regional transport link.

Geotechnical works have reduced the risk of rock falls and landslips, slopes have been stabilised, rock fall barriers have been constructed and a new 1.2 kilometre section of road has been built to replace a section of the downward lanes that was severely damaged in the 2011 flood event.

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Funds for community learning projects

Community-based training is a great way for many disadvantaged learners to gain new skills and qualifications, and improve their employment opportunities. Recognising this, the Queensland Government has recently allocated $6.4 million to various registered training organisations and community groups across the state to support their delivery of 44 new community learning projects.

The latest funding recipients for the region are:

  • Downs Industry Schools Co-operation Incorporated (Toowoomba)
  • Ipswich YUPI Program Incorporated (Toowoomba)
  • Multicultural Development Association Incorporated (Toowoomba)
  • National Retail Association (Dalby, Toowoomba and Warwick)
  • TAFE Queensland South West (Goondiwindi and Toowoomba)
  • United Synergies Limited (Toowoomba)
  • YWCA Queensland Incorporated (Chinchilla, Dalby and Toowoomba).

Find out more about the Community Learning program.

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A Safe Night Out for all—red carding anti-social behaviour

Everyone deserves to have an enjoyable evening out with friends and family; no one should have to deal with drug and alcohol-fuelled violence. To help ensure Queensland’s nightlife is safe for all, the Queensland Government has developed the Safe Night Out Strategy.

Over the coming months, the strategy will see the roll out of a range of initiatives, including the proposed establishment of a Safe Night precinct in Toowoomba’s central business district. The proposed precinct would be managed by a board of local stakeholders and offer a safe and secure area for people out at night. The precinct will enable the effective management of community safety issues like transportation, lighting, public facilities and rest and recovery areas.

The government will work with the local community and industry stakeholders in establishing the precinct. Stay tuned for consultation opportunities.

Find out more about the Safe Night Out Strategy.

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Funding boost for our events calendar

Have a Go Festival

With a recent funding boost from the Queensland Government, the region’s upcoming events calendar promises to be bigger and better than ever. Through the Tourism and Events
Queensland (TEQ) Regional Development program, funding has been allocated to:

  • Australian Camp Oven Festival to be held in Millmerran—$30,000
  • Have a Go Festival to be held in Toowoomba—$15,000
  • Shakespeare in the Park to be held in Toowoomba—$15,000
  • Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft and Rodeo—$25,000.

Through the program, TEQ works with local councils and regional tourism organisations to support a diverse portfolio of events that help attract visitors, raise the profile of destinations and encourage future tourism and investment.

Find out more about the Regional Development program.

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Last updated
19 September, 2014

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