NQ Regional Plan to help create more local jobs
Published Thursday, 29 August, 2019 at 06:00 AM
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke
North Queenslanders are being asked to have their say on the first-ever Regional Plan for NQ, to accelerate growth and encourage future jobs in the region over the next 25 years.
Minister for Planning, Cameron Dick, said the draft North Queensland Regional Plan would ensure the region grows in a sustainable way as more people gravitate to the tropical beauty of North Queensland.
“North Queensland is experiencing a strong period of growth resulting in changing demographics and economic and employment patterns, which will require more local jobs, homes, schools and services to be delivered,” Mr Dick said.
“By 2041 it is expected that an additional 90,000 people will call North Queensland home, necessitating 50,000 new dwellings to be built and more than 35,000 new jobs.
“The draft regional plan provides the blueprint to manage this growth sustainably and ensure North Queensland is a place people want to live, work and visit now and into the future.
“Importantly, the draft plan aims to secure more land for industrial purposes, which will underwrite new and emerging industries to support and create more jobs in sectors such as defence, manufacturing and healthcare.”
Mr Dick said the regional planning process is an opportunity to address regional challenges, identify new ways to grow the region’s economy.
“The draft regional plan supports key job-creating infrastructure projects, such as the State Infrastructure Fund and North Queensland stadium, and priority development areas such as the Townsville City Waterfront PDA,” he said.
“The economic focus of the plan will be strengthened with a North Queensland Economic Development Workshop held next week to identify and prioritise key economic opportunities for the region.”
Mr Dick said this was a plan for the community and it was important North Queensland residents had their say on the draft plan.
“We worked closely with the region’s five councils and consulted the community to get to this stage. We now want to hear from residents about their views on the draft plan,” he said.
“This is the community’s chance to be involved in planning a thriving future for North Queensland, to ensure the final plan is reflective of local lifestyle and economic aspirations.”
Member for Mundingburra, Coralee O’Rourke, said the regional plan will provide vital direction for the area over the next 25 years.
“The vision unveiled in the draft plan positions North Queensland as the capital of Northern Australia,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“North Queensland is thriving and while change is exciting, we need to be on the front foot with long term planning and strategic thinking which is what the draft regional plan achieves.”
Hinchinbrook Mayor, Councillor Ramon Jayo, said a regional plan for the area was important to capitalise on region-wide opportunities and boost business confidence.
“The release of the draft plan provides a unique opportunity for residents and councils to directly impact the future planning of North Queensland,” Cr Jayo said.
“Once finalised, the plan will provide us with a region-wide direction and way to sustainably manage growth while supporting new investment.”
Mayor of Townsville Jenny Hill says the regional plan is a vote of confidence in Townsville’s bright future.
“The North Queensland region is growing, and we must make sure infrastructure and services keep pace with that growth, while ensuring our lifestyle is maintained,” she said.
“This plan will help to create jobs and prosperity for decades to come.”
The draft North Queensland Regional Plan includes the council areas of Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville.
Residents can have their say on the draft regional plan at events planned across the region or by visiting the online engagement hub until 22 November 2019. Find out more at qld.gov.au/PlanNQ
Media contact: Lesley Major 0419 288 284