A strong North means a strong Nation.
This is the theme promoted by the Federal Government’s ‘White Paper on Developing Northern Australia’, to transform the nation’s top-end into an economic powerhouse.
Townsville North Queensland encompasses five major regional centres: Townsville, Charters Towers, Burdekin, Palm Island and Hinchinbrook. The region contributes over $15.94B annually to the Queensland economy and is home to nearly 240,000 people.
Over the past six years, the people of the Townsville North Queensland region have experienced some of the toughest economic conditions in its 151 year history. The downturn in commodities, the drought and dramatic changes in the makeup of the economy saw unemployment in 2012 at an unprecedented 14%, with youth unemployment over 20%. A looming water security issue and skyrocketing energy prices threatened the closure of our remaining manufacturing and production industries and business confidence hit historic lows.
In 2018, the landscape is more optimistic and all levels of Government and the private sector have played a part in this economic recovery. Projects like the $ 250M North Queensland Stadium and $225M water pipeline are now becoming reality, the Port of Townsville’s $1.6B expansion project has been approved, the resources sector is ramping up, the private sector is investing again and we have Government policy agreements like the landmark Townsville City Deal and the Australia and Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership providing momentum and funding for future developments.
The region is on the move again, but with unemployment still sitting uncomfortably at 8% and approximately 11,000 people still out of work, we need to work harder to ensure long term job creation now and into the future.
This Federal Priorities document is the result of extensive consultation with Governments, regional stakeholders and our community and is presented to our Federal representatives for consideration. These targeted priorities have been defined based on their capacity to stimulate economic growth, encourage industry and private sector investment, influence business confidence and create jobs.
A strong North means a strong Nation and as the largest city and region in Northern Australia, the Federal Government must play an important role in ensuring Townsville North Queensland realises its true potential. The Federal Government must work in partnership with the North Queensland community to fast-track investment and implement policies that transform the region. The following priorities are the pillars upon which Townsville North Queensland’s future will be developed.
North Queensland is calling on the Federal Government to commit to the following:
- Water Security for Townsville – $200M equates to 425 FTE jobs
- Lower Energy Prices and Access – Policy
- Townsville Ring Road Upgrade – $144M equates to 306 FTE jobs
- Agricultural Development (Hells Gates Dam)
- Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator – $60M equates to 128 FTE jobs
- Mount Isa to Townsville Supply Chain – Logistics Corridor – $75M equates to 159 FTE jobs
- Townsville North Queensland – Australia’s Northern Defence Maintenance Hub – Policy
- Centre for Amphibious Capability – $360M equates to 766 FTE jobs
Capital of Northern Australia
- Townsville North Queensland Population Target and Defined Regional Development Agenda – Policy
- National Centre for STEAM Acceleration and Innovation – $15M annually, equates to 20 FTE operational jobs
- Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) – $5M equates to 72 FTE jobs
- Reef HQ Aquarium Upgrade – $80M equates to 170 FTE jobs
- Entertainment and Exhibition Centre – $150M equates to 319 FTE jobs
- Townsville Concert Hall – $46M equates to 98 FTE jobs
- Townsville Lagoon – $85M equates to 181 FTE jobs
- Drive IT NQ – $18.5M equates to 39 FTE jobs
Supporting the Regions
- Burdekin Shire Council – $12.8M equates to 22 FTE jobs
- Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council – $37.7M equates to 81 FTE jobs
- Hinchinbrook Shire Council – $2.25M equates to 8 FTE jobs