Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Minister puts North QLD top of Federal agenda

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Tuesday, February 02, 2016

    Minister puts North QLD top of Federal agenda

    Mayors from across North Queensland will travel to Canberra today to discuss significant economic projects and opportunities presented in the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia 

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke is leading the delegation of Queensland Regional Organisation of Council (ROC) members to Canberra, to put the economic development of North Queensland at the top of the Federal Government’s agenda.

    “The time is right for action in the north, and the Palaszczuk Government is doing all it can to ensure North Queensland receives its fair share of funding under the Federal Government’s White Paper,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “We recognise the important role local governments play in maintaining assets, and ensuring our communities are great places to live, work and do business, and together we are putting North Queensland front and centre in Canberra.

    “The White Paper presents us with a great opportunity to develop a shared understanding, at all levels of government, of the importance of this region to the economic future of Australia as a whole.

    “North Queensland accounts for around 75 per cent of the population of Northern Australia, and I will be putting forward the case that we get the lion’s share of infrastructure funding.”

    Minister O’Rourke said the initiatives she and the Mayors will bring to the Federal Government stem from a series of economic roundtables she hosted across the state last year. The forums were attended by business leaders and key stakeholders who had a special interest in developing the north.

    “We have been working closely with the business community, peak bodies, local governments and other regional stakeholders to identify where the best opportunities for economic development may lie,” she said.

    “Some of the consistent issues that have been raised at the economic roundtables I’ve hosted include water security and road infrastructure, so these will be among our discussions in Canberra.

    “A key project I will be pushing for is the Townsville Stadium. The Palaszczuk Government has already committed $100 million towards the stadium, but we need funding from the Federal Government to get this project off the ground and create much needed jobs during construction and beyond.

    “The Premier and I also hosted a forum for North Queensland Mayors in Townsville in October last year, which identified regional priorities that could be pursued through the White Paper process.

    “In addition we hosted the successful Northern Queensland Economic Summit in November attended by more than 250 delegates from across Australia and around the world.

    “We know that North Queensland has huge economic development potential and that the best way to maximise these opportunities is by working together.”

    North Queensland Mayors from Regional Organisations of Councils travelling to Canberra include:

    • Cr Bill Shannon – Far North Queensland ROC and Mayor of Cassowary Coast Regional Council
    • Cr Ron Carige – Central Queensland ROC and Mayor of Banana Shire Council
    • Cr Frank Beveridge – North Queensland ROC and Mayor of Charters Towers Regional Council
    • Cr Rob Chandler – Remote Area Planning & Development Board ROC and Mayor of Barcaldine Shire
    • Cr Ernie Camp – Gulf Savannah Development ROC and Mayor Burke Shire Council
    • Cr John Wharton – North West Queensland ROC and Mayor of Richmond Shire Council

    Media Contact:                                              Minister O’Rourke’s office                          0408 317 992