The Southern Downs Electorate is a wonderful and diverse place, with friendly people and involving communities, a strong economic base and a remarkable and varied landscape.
It is bounded by Weengallon in the west, Cecil Plains and Allora in the north, Goomburra, Tregony and the Great Dividing Range in the east, and the Queensland-New South Wales border to the south.
The current electoral boundaries encompass three major centres of Warwick, Stanthorpe and Goondiwindi, however it is also home to many smaller towns and villages. Many of them have their own local hall, primary school, sports club, small local businesses or even the occasional pub, but most importantly a proud sense of community and cultural identity.
The Southern Downs Electorate enjoys a diverse range of economies such as primary industry and tourism, along with providing services to the communities. The electorate proudly boasts some of the most productive industries in Australia which include:- beef, sheep, dairy, grain, cotton, fruit, vegetables, wine and forestry.
The Southern Downs Electorate is also blessed with a vibrant services sector across our towns. Small businesses abound in catering for domestic, rural and industrial demands, and their operators, often longstanding families, proudly serve their customers and communities through thick and thin, good times and bad.
Tourism is very important in Southern Downs Electorate. The B&Bs, wine and fruit industries, shows and festivals and the cold climate of the Granite Belt make the Electorate a favourite for visitors.
These businesses demonstrate that the future for industry does not exclusively lie in the big cities. It equally can be in electorates like Southern Downs where costs are low, where interstate and international markets are now easily at hand and where life is good.
What all of those industries have in common is that they are comprised overwhelmingly of small businesses and small farms. They are family concerns where proudly independent people with passion and ideas work very hard. They invest, with no certain outcome, in order to create jobs and incomes. They generate the tax revenues upon which our necessary public sector activities and welfare measures depend.