Michael Nolan, Nicole McDougall, Rachael Green and Mark Furner at the Queensland Country Press Awards.
Michael Nolan, Nicole McDougall, Rachael Green and Mark Furner at the Queensland Country Press Awards. Ashleigh Griffiths

Chinchilla News wins

THE Chinchilla News has picked up a number of gongs at the Queensland Country Press Association Newspaper Excellence Awards.

Regional newspaper publishers from across Queensland descended on the state's capital to attend the event, to discuss the industry and celebrate the achievements of member newspapers, with delegates travelling from as far as Atherton, Longreach, Sunshine Coast, Roma and Warwick to attend.

The Chinchilla News picked up third place in the Best 'Stand Alone' Newspaper Supplement for the Making the Grade Feature, filled with photos from the region's Year One and Prep classes.

In the Best Special Publication category the Chinchilla News took out both third and equal second place for The Breeders Way and the Travellers Dining Guide, while also taking third place in the Best Newspaper employing two or less journalists category.

A highlight of the conference was a forum and panel discussion on issues and opportunities in regional Queensland.

Panel guests included the Leader of the Opposition and State Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Federal Minister for Regional Development and Federal Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh and well-known innovation and regional Queensland advocate Everald Compton AM. The forum was mediated by NewsCorp General Manager for Queensland and Northern Territory Regionals Simon Irwin. Topics covered in the forum included improving health and education services to attract professionals into the bush and encourage them to stay there, the need for innovation projects to reduce unemployment in the regions, decentralisation and the need for significant investment in both the state's water and transport networks.

Whilst attending the Newspaper Excellence Awards, Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industries, Development and Fisheries Mark Furner took the opportunity to announce the Queensland Government's pledge for a further $5 million in funding over two years for wild dog exclusion cluster fencing in western and southern Queensland.