NEW MEMBER: SDRC mayor Vic Pennisi will join the Granite Belt Alliance as a representative for council.
NEW MEMBER: SDRC mayor Vic Pennisi will join the Granite Belt Alliance as a representative for council.

Leading Granite Belt bodies form formidable alliance

A NEW initiative to unify the Granite Belt’s leading industry bodies has this week gained the support of the Southern Downs Regional Council.

The Granite Belt Alliance, which was formed only a few months ago, will work closely with a council representative to help advance the community’s business, tourism and agricultural needs.

The Alliance includes representatives from Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce, Granite Belt Growers Association, Granite Belt Wine and Tourism, and Granite Belt Sustainable Action Network.

Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce president Graham Parker hoped the Alliance’s collective voice would see more matters addressed across the region.

“We’re all trying to work with different levels of government and all we’re trying to do is collaborate, so if there’s something that’s important to our region, we can have bigger numbers to get it done,” Mr Parker said.

“There are certain things we can do together and it gives us a good cross-section of the community that we can engage directly.”

Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce president Graham Parker is eager to see the impact the Granite Belt Alliance will have for the community.
Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce president Graham Parker is eager to see the impact the Granite Belt Alliance will have for the community.

Council voted in favour of joining the Alliance in Wednesday’s ordinary meeting following the establishment of a terms of reference.

According to Mr Parker, the partnership between the Alliance and the council could see greater opportunities for the community, including an electric car charging station.

“We’re looking to be partners with our council rather than just going cap in hand as individual groups,” he said.

“It’s about being a round table – we’re all sitting at the same table and wanting to get the same outcomes.

The Alliance is expected to meet quarterly and remain active for the current council term.

Mayor Vic Pennisi said the Alliance would achieve “better outcomes” for the region, sooner.

“We all want to see the Granite Belt reach its full potential and it makes sense that we should work in unity for the benefit of our region,” Cr Pennisi said.

“Together we will identify priority issues that directly relate to the Granite Belt and use our collective resources to progress these.”

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