by Sean Teuma
AFTER the official declaration of the seat of the Southern Downs on Monday, incoming MP James Lister is looking forward to tackling the big issues in the region.
Mr Lister identified a number of ways to continue the forward progress of the Southern Downs.
He said a strong economic environment was vital, as were sustainable communities.
"Jobs and prosperity in the Southern Downs depends on the success of our primary industries, small businesses and tourism," Mr Lister said.
"We need a healthy economic environment and there are certain things that governments can deliver to give us one - improved roads, irrigation and energy infrastructure, together with local tourism, are part of this.
"And there's the stuff people need for sustainable communities like schools, hospitals and law and order."
Mr Lister said he was keen to talk with Southern Downs Regional Council on matters of the region.
"I know that Southern Downs Regional Council has a list of projects they consider important for our region and I'll be meeting with the mayor to discuss this next week," he said.
"Generally speaking though, I think we need better government rather than more government.
"Less red tape for businesses and farmers will always be a good thing for jobs and our economy.
"I will do anything in my powers to see Southern Downs get its fair share but without being over-governed."
Mayor Tracy Dobie said the council was looking forward to communicating with Mr Lister to ensure the best outcomes for residents.
"Council will work with the new member James, as well as continuing to work with elected representatives," Cr Dobie said.
"It's going to be a challenge for James to deliver being in opposition but part of the role is to work with the party and sitting government to get the best outcomes for the Southern Downs."