‘Not our first rodeo’: Maranoa MP praises region for COVID recovery
MARANOA MP David Littleproud said he was proud of the Maranoa for their resilience during COVID-19 shutdowns and harsh restrictions, but admits he is still concerned about some communities.
$60 million in stimulus has gone into the Maranoa through a number of projects in the last two months, however the economic impacts on the region have been profound.
“I’ve been buoyed by the resilience,” Mr Littleproud said.
“There’s been definite hurt from a number of businesses, some more than others.
“There has been stronger resilience in the regional communities than what I’ve seen in metropolitan Australia.”
Mr Littleproud said the resilience of Maranoa residents was reflected in the fact that this was “not our first rodeo”.
“Whether it’s COVID, whether it’s drought, whether it’s fire or flood, we want Australians to just dust themselves off and have another crack,” he said.
“That’s what’s happening out there.”
Mr Littleproud said his concerns lie with the tourism industry in the southwest.
Despite $21.3 million of federal government funding being announced on Friday, for the purpose of upgrading facilities and drawing tourists to the region, there are still concerns about how the smaller towns will fare after restrictions ease fully.
“I’ve got real concerns about some of our tourism industry,” the MP said.
“We haven’t got the grey nomads out there in central west Queensland and outback Queensland, and our pubs that really are the centrepiece of our communities.
“They play an important role in mental health and bring people together so I think there’s some areas that I’m really concerned about but as a rule I think we’re going a lot better than metropolitan Queensland.
“We’re just used to this stuff and we just get on with it.”