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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 3333

Dr McVEIGH (Groom) (13:37): I wish to draw to the attention of the House the thriving community of Highfields just north of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs in Queensland. This community has a growing population, roughly around 15,000 at present, and, based on ABS statistics, enjoys a growth rate greater than that of Brisbane, the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast.

I was very fortunate to attend a recent meeting at the Highfields State Secondary College, a new college built in the last couple of years. This Highfields Growth Forum was facilitated by Jim O'Dea, the president of the Highfields and District Business Connections group. We heard from passionate local speakers, speaking on behalf of the young and the old and business and community interests as well, including Sharon Barker, principal of the Highfields State Secondary College; Pastor Phil West of the Brownesholme Retirement Village; Senior Constable Chris Brameld of the Queensland Police Service; Chris Mills, managing director of Strategenics consultants; and Major Sonny Lyyn of the nearby Borneo Barracks Australian Defence Force base. These leaders, together with other representatives from developers and council, spoke with great passion about the future that they foresee for the Highfields community.

This is an example of a community focused on foresight and self-determination rather than sitting around and waiting for local, state and federal governments to show them the way. Their model of collaborative planning is something to behold.