Mayor to take on PM over Outback rights

Charters Towers will fight for the Outback title as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced more freedoms for remote towns.

The town 137km southwest of Townsville missed out on the Outback title, while neighbouring shire Flinders was categorised as being Outback Queensland.

People living in Outback Queensland will be able to dine in pubs and cafes in groups of up to 20 locals from May 15 and travel up to 500km for recreational purposes.

 

Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge will be calling the Prime Minister’s office to argue Charters Towers should be categorised as being Outback Queensland. Picture: JACOBBE McBRIDE
Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge will be calling the Prime Minister’s office to argue Charters Towers should be categorised as being Outback Queensland. Picture: JACOBBE McBRIDE

 

Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge said he would be contacting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to argue the region should be classed as being Outback Queensland.

"We're not very happy about that, I will be ringing the Prime Minister's office on Monday. We will be strongly lobbying for that," he said.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young explained Charters Towers was not listed as being a part of Outback Queensland because it would mean residents would not be able to travel to Townsville.

 

Mr Beveridge was however relieved the easing of restrictions next week would allow for more travel, activities and gatherings.

He said walk-in businesses had been suffering for weeks and was concerned for the region's tourism industry.

"I'm overjoyed (with the easing of restrictions) but the challenge now is the minute it gets cold in regional Queensland the tourism industry kicks in," he said.

"Every week, month that we stay closed in the cold period all the caravan parks, takeaway stores will suffer."

Former Charters Towers Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group chairwoman Liz Schmidt confirmed there was a case on March 28, and the person had returned from overseas.

The Townsville Hospital and Health Service area, which encompasses Charters Towers, the Burdekin and Hinchinbrook on Wednesday confirmed there were no longer any active coronavirus cases being treated in the region's hospitals. There were a total of 24 cases reported.

Ms Palaszczuk today revealed a string of changes as Queensland takes another step toward reopening, including gatherings in the home of a maximum of five people.

Dining in at restaurants, pubs and clubs with a maximum of ten people will also be allowed.

Originally published as Mayor to take on PM over Outback rights


Brief relief before heatwave back with a vengeance

Premium Content Brief relief before heatwave back with a vengeance

Weather: Intense heatwave to return, leading into next week

Damning figure that shows Budget is a bust

Premium Content Damning figure that shows Budget is a bust

Qld Budget 2020: LNP slams state’s plunging net worth