A NATIONAL conference which champions equality in the LGBTIQ community is expected to draw hundreds of interstate visitors to the Far North in January 2022.

Douglas Shire Council is supporting the ‘Better Together Conference’, which will see about 400 delegates attend a regional conference in Cairns after five days of workshops and events in Port Douglas

The event will work closely with the ‘Hot & Steamy Festival’ and is expected to inject more than $550,000 into the local Douglas Shire economy.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the event could bring significant economic activity during the wet season.

“By attracting these types of events, Douglas Shire can enhance its reputation as a conference destination while cultivating social and cultural change,” he said.

“The flow-on benefits of having more people in town will be a welcome boost to local businesses who are usually hanging out for the busy tourist season.

“Council is incredibly thankful to partner with event organisers to make this happen.”

DSC will contribute $10,000 and provide in-kind assistance through the use of the Sugar Wharf.

The Better Together Conference is hosted by a health promotion charity called the Equality Project.

In the past three years, the event has been held in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Their mission is to create a space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, non-binary, intersex, queer, asexual and aromantic people and organisations to work together, build bridges, and speak with a common voice, through a national conference called Better Together.

The conference will be Indigenous and feminist in its approach, welcoming the voices of multicultural and faith groups, people with disabilities, the deaf community, and people of all ages, genders, sexualities, geographical locations and family formations.

They hope to cultivate social and cultural change by creating a training program, the Better Together Training Academy, that will foster the training of a new generation of LGBTIQ+ advocates, change-makers and leaders.