Leading in to the Federal election Townsville Enterprise is leading the advocacy for a package of policies and projects which set a comprehensive vision for growth, opportunity and prosperity across the Townsville North Queensland region.
Based on broad consultation, the package focuses on seven key areas:
- Urban activation
- Investment attraction
- Tourism and events
- Local contracts
- Defence hub
- Energy and water
The ISEC will catalyse urban activation and investment across Townsville’s Waterfront Priority Development Area, turbocharge the region’s events and tourism industry, bring jobs to the city and boost business confidence and is calling on the Federal Government to match the Queensland Government’s $100M commitment to assist in the completing Stage 1.
The Federal Government has an opportunity to deliver the first stage of the ISEC Project which will catalyse one of Australia’s biggest urban renewal projects. The Waterfront redevelopment will activate prime inner-city land, create significant investment and job opportunities and catalyse CBD revitalisation over the next 20 years.
This project supported by the other policies and projects outlined in the document will assist Townsville North Queensland in transitioning to the new economy and is line with the Federal Governments vision for the region outlined in the Northern Australia White paper.
Each major project and policy change championed in the Federal Priorities document has been selected because it will drive outcomes for the region in a number of the seven priority areas.
Priority projects include:
- the Port of Townsville Channel Capacity Project
- the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor
- Drive IT NQ’s Driver Education and Motorsport Precinct
- the Australian Tropical Marine and Aquaculture Centre
- Palm Island’s Retail and Business Precinct
- sealing the Hann Highway
- a new dam at Hells Gate and improvements to the Burdekin River System
Recommended Federal policy reforms include:
- making Government tender processes simpler and more accessible for local SMEs
- increasing local procurement by Townsville’s Defence sector
- reducing the $55 Passenger Movement Charge for short-haul flights
- ensuring fair electricity and gas prices for North Queensland
- introducing a Northern Australia Population Policy, and targets for strong population growth
- attracting investors to Townsville North Queensland through an Austrade Investment Forum and new local branch of the Federal Major Projects Approval Authority
This document also outlines a bold plan to utilise the Port of Townsville as a permanent Navy base, and to establish Townsville as the centre for the ADF’s amphibious capability. Townsville has the potential to become the home port of Navy’s amphibious ships, and the launch point for more humanitarian relief and disaster assistance missions. This particular policy is part of an aspiration and vision for the region to grow our defence capabilities and industry.
The policies and projects highlighted in the Federal Priorities document will help Townsville North Queensland unlock its vast economic potential by focussing on local jobs, growth industries and harnessing the opportunities of the expanding markets of the Asia Pacific.