Townsville Enterprise, regional mayor’s from North and North West Queensland regions and peak industry bodies will travel to Canberra next week to engage directly with national leaders on fast-tracking North Queensland and North West Queensland’s economic recovery following the unprecedented flooding event.
The mayors and representatives from the North Queensland and North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NQ ROC and NWQ ROC), MITEZ, Queensland Resources Council and AgForce will join Townsville Enterprise to meet with Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Parliament House from Monday 18 February to Wednesday 20 February.
The delegation will converge on Parliament House to send a united message from the North that extraordinary events require an extraordinary response, seeking immediate action on the economic rebuild of communities across North Queensland and North West Queensland in the wake of one of the most devastating natural disasters we have seen in recent memory.
Meetings have been secured with several relevant senior members of Cabinet and the Opposition to immediately put in place the plans to address the situation now and build for the long-term economic recovery of the North and North West. The discussions will not solely focus on the immediate recovery and the drag caused by the disaster, but also to deal with the pre-existing structural issues that undermine future resilience and the investment necessary to resolve these issues. This will require all levels of government to work in concert to establish a significant response to the ongoing crisis, with the objective of returning confidence and demonstrating that nobody will be left behind.
Whilst in front of the Government and Opposition we will be promoting the need for further investment into the key infrastructure and industries that are the lifeblood of regional Queensland. We need commitments towards these priorities now more than ever to ensure the north keeps ticking over. This includes flood proofing and upgrading the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line, which we still see at complete standstill from water inundation, as well as support for the growth of the mining and resources industry in regional Queensland.
The targeted priorities included in the North West Mayor’s Six Point Plan for a Better Future and Townsville Enterprise’s 2019 Federal Budget Submission have been defined based on their capacity to stimulate economic growth, encourage industry and private sector investment, influence business confidence and create jobs, which is now even more important than ever. Governments will play a key role in our region’s economic recovery following this devastating weather event, and the economy building package is about giving communities and people hope for a better future.
We know it won’t be an overnight cure, and there is plenty of work still required on the immediate recovery, but over the three days in Canberra we will encourage putting significant recovery and resilience plans in place to ensure communities and industries from across North and North West Queensland can get back on their feet as soon as possible.
Not only do the communities from across the North depend on this economic recovery, but also the country. We know a strong north means a strong nation, and right now, that is precariously at risk.