Future looking bright for North West Queensland
Published Tuesday, 27 August, 2019 at 06:00 AM
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick
The Palaszczuk Government has released an economy-boosting strategy for North West Queensland to attract investment and deliver jobs in resources, agriculture, tourism, business and industry.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy was the result of extensive collaboration and consultation with regional stakeholders and community and will be backed by an implementation plan to quickly deliver outcomes.
“Key supply chain and value-adding industries in Townsville and surrounding regions are of strategic importance to the North West Minerals Province,” Mr Dick said.
“Mineral resources will remain the region’s primary industry but to counter commodity cycle impacts, as well as severe weather events, the strategy outlines new ways to enhance the investment environment, boost supply chains and sustain thriving communities.
“The North West is home to many of the metals needed for electric and hybrid vehicles, lithium batteries, wind turbine generators and solar panels.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed tocreating regional jobs, increasing private sector investment and engaging more young Queenslanders in education, training or work.”
Mr Dick said feedback on the draft strategy confirmed that local government, industry and residents were keen to see new projects rolled out as soon as possible.
“Today we are announcing funding for energy, agriculture and tourism projects that will lay the groundwork for a diversified economy of optimism and opportunity.
Energy –$1.68 million towards energy supply and transmission projects, including $1.18 million to Copperstring 2.0 to support it’s $1 billion project and $500,000 to work with stakeholders to develop opportunities for new common user electricity infrastructure
Agriculture – $600,000 investment into catalytic projects including fodder production and ongoing irrigated cropping trials and identification of co-investment opportunities for common user facilities and the development of a targeted program for global investment attraction
Tourism – $150,000 for planning and design work to expand and upgrade Australia's premier marine fossil museum Kronosaurus Korner and fossil sites at Richmond; planning and design work to develop visitor infrastructure at Porcupine Gorge National Park at Hughenden; and to deliver a Mount lsa/Camooweal to Lawn Hill/Riversleigh tourism masterplan.
Mr Dick said these projects build on the Palaszczuk Government’s history of driving jobs and growth in North West Queensland.
“Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General recently approved the 15 Mile Irrigated Agriculture Project and the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, with a number of other project approvals for infrastructure projects in the pipeline,” Mr Dick said.
“We also reduced rail access charges on the Mount Isa Line by $80 million over four years and are supporting the development of a new common user multi modal container terminal at the Port of Townsville, that will improve the efficiency of freight movement across the network.
“This includes a contribution of $30 million to the terminal, with the Port of Townsville providing a further $18 million.
“These investments complement our commitment of $380 million over five years to maintain and improve the line, making the freight journey faster and more reliable,” he said.
The Palaszczuk Government is also supporting mines such as New Century through the Resources Regional Development Framework that is designed to promote investment in regions like the North West Minerals Province.
“Once executed, this agreement will assist to reinvigorate activity at the Century Zinc Mine (Lawn Hill), including over 260 construction and 240 operational jobs, the recommissioning of associated infrastructure, and the continued dredging of the Port of Karumba.”
Mount Isa Mayor and member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee Joyce McCulloch said she and council are excited to continue to build economic capacity in the region.
“The strategy outlines initiatives that will diversify the economy and optimise the number of jobs across the region,” she said.
“I look forward to continuing our strong collaboration to deliver an implementation plan.”
The North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy is an action from the Queensland Government’s $39 million blueprint for Queensland’s North West Minerals Province.
Media Contact: Lesley Major 0419 288 284