News from Townsville Enterprise

June 13th, 2017

Advocacy Alert: State Budget Positive for Townsville North Queensland

Townsville Enterprise acknowledges the Queensland Government on delivering a positive 2017/18 State Budget that addresses the critical needs of water security for Townsville and takes a step towards securing sustainable energy pricing and access for North Queensland.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt today announced $225M over four years towards Townsville's long term water security to ensure the State is prepared to act on the findings of the intergovernmental Water Taskforce and support sustainable and secure long-term water supply for Townsville.

The Treasurer and the Premier have heard the concerns of our region and have not just waited for a report to be handed down. The Government has instead quarantined the funds for when the Water Taskforce presents its report to enable immediate action on those findings.

The energy solution, revealed by the Premier last week, is a positive step, but North Queensland still needs to identify a base load power solution. The State Government has allocated $386M towards the Powering North Queensland Plan. Under this plan, funding will be allocated to strategic transmission infrastructure, a hydro electric power station and a study to assess the feasibility of the establishment of hydro electricity generation associated with the Burdekin Dam. North Queensland's energy solution has to be a holistic approach, balancing renewable energy solutions with base load power. Townsville Enterprise welcomes the State Government's funding towards energy, however remain committed to advocating for the establishment of base load power sources in the North, as outlined in the Townsville Enterprise 2017/18 State Budget Submission.

Another key North Queensland priority addressed by the State Government, included in Townsville Enterprise's State Budget Submission, was securing funding towards the Port of Townsville's Channel Capacity Upgrade Project. Last week the Premier announced that $75M will be allocated towards the Port's Project - this was confirmed in today's budget. This Project will create 120 full time equivalent jobs during construction and support 8,000 jobs in industries that rely on the Port, lower freight costs for North Queensland consumers and producers, and allow cruise tourism to further flourish by accommodating ships up to 300 metres. With the State Government’s $75M funding commitment, the Port is now in a position to finalise full funding to ensure this vital project for North Queensland and Northern Australia proceeds.

It is pleasing to see significant investment in Townsville North Queensland across infrastructure, health and education announced in this State Budget. This investment will result in capital works, construction and real jobs on the ground across our region.

Summary of Key State Budget 2017/18 Announcements:

WATER
- $225M over four years towards long term water security for Townsville
- $10.1M towards Burdekin Falls Dam Foundation Drainage Improvement

ENERGY
$386M Powering North Queensland Plan investment to strengthen and diversify North Queensland’s energy supply, drive economic growth and support 5,000 jobs
- $150M reinvestment of Powerlink dividends for transmission infrastructure to support a clean energy hub
- $100M reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam
- $100M equity injection and reinvestment of dividends towards improvement works at Burdekin Falls Dam

INFRASTRUCTURE
- $75M down-payment for the Port of Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade Project

TOURISM
- $10.2M over two years towards Tourism and Events Queensland to help secure major events for the State
- Funding under the $1.2M IET Partnership Fund for two projects to position Townsville as an edu-tourism and marine studies location
- $500K towards Museum of Tropical Queensland maintenance
- $1.1M Mount Inkerman Nature Tourism Development

UNEMPLOYMENT
- $32.4M towards Works for Queensland to support job creating maintenance and minor infrastructure works
- $4.2M towards entrepreneurs, industry and universities to grow jobs of the future

ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION
- $15.6M towards Palm Island Power Station Upgrade
- $16.5M towards Palm Island Primary Health Care Centre

RESOURCES
- $445.9M allocated to boost exploration in new frontiers and deliver a gas supply and demand action plan

Townsville and the broader North Queensland region has experienced some challenging years and it is pleasing to see targeted government investment and policy to support growth, attract investment and stimulate business confidence. Townsville Enterprise looks forward to working with the State Government on ensuring this Budget fulfils its commitments to North Queensland and delivers on the vital projects and policy necessary to continue cementing Townsville as the true Capital of Northern Australia.

Townsville Enterprise, along with civic, business and community leaders, have been strongly advocating for major infrastructure funding in our region. The State Government has delivered on one of the key priorities that will make a fundamental difference to our community and investor confidence.

To learn more about this State Budget, Townsville Enterprise is hosting Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt for a post-budget luncheon next Tuesday 20 June 2017, where the Treasurer will provide an exclusive overview on just what exactly the Budget means for Townsville North Queensland. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

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