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

    Palaszczuk Government delivering jobs for North Queensland

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

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    Palaszczuk Government delivering jobs for North Queensland

    North Queenslanders are front and centre in the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to create jobs and grow the economy, as part of a huge investment in job-generating projects outlined in State Parliament today.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the jobs couldn’t come at a better time for a region that was doing it tough after a fall in the resources sector.

    “It has been a tough week in Townsville in particular, with the remaining 550 Queensland Nickel workers being told they no longer have jobs,” Mrs O’Rourke said. 

    “That’s why our focus is on making sure there are jobs for people to go to,” she said.

    “Through our Accelerated Works Program, we have committed to fast-tracking $367 million in shovel-ready projects to accelerate more than 800 jobs for North Queensland.

    “In Townsville, that includes $210 million worth of accelerated projects to support more than 480 local jobs, in addition to our investment of more than $540 million in infrastructure this financial year to support around 1500 jobs.

    “The State Infrastructure Plan announced by the Deputy Premier this week includes 86 North Queensland projects at an estimated cost of $5.4 billion over four years.

    “Since we came to government, some key projects for our region that have been approved include the Cairns Special School, Cairns Hospital redevelopment, new schools for Townsville, the Bruce Highway Mackay Ring Road Stage 1, as well as road and community infrastructure in the Cape.”

    Minister O’Rourke said the massive infrastructure boost followed a series of economic roundtables hosted across the state last year.

    “I met with more than 130 North Queensland business leaders last year to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the region,” she said.

    “From these meetings, business leaders identified a number of road, rail and water infrastructure options that were fed into the development of the State Infrastructure Plan.

    “Last year I also co-hosted with the Premier the Northern Queensland Economic Summit in Cairns to promote domestic and international investment in the region, and a forum for North Queensland Mayors in Townsville to identify regional priorities through the Federal Government’s Northern Australia White Paper.

    “As a result of the forum, I led a delegation of North Queensland Mayors to Canberra in February this year to discuss economic opportunities for the north with Federal Ministers, Opposition Members and departmental heads, covering issues such as water, transport and roads.

    “Another issue we discussed in Canberra was the need for a commitment from the Federal Government to the Townsville Stadium. I’m proud our government has committed $100 million towards the stadium, as I understand how important it is to revitalising the CBD, stimulating growth and creating up to 700 jobs.

    “It’s also disappointing that despite the Federal Government committing to introducing legislation on the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to Parliament in the first quarter of this year, we’re still yet to see it on their agenda.”

    Media Contact:          Minister O’Rourke’s office                 3719 7170