Budget an opportunity to reward NQ for COVID resilience
The Queensland Government budget is the perfect opportunity for the State to say ‘Thank You’ to North Queensland for driving the economy through COVID and delivering revenue windfalls from the mining and agriculture sectors.
Townsville Enterprise CEO Claudia Brumme-Smith said that the ongoing advocacy campaign to secure crucial long-term investments into the region had been well received in Brisbane, and that the Treasurer had a clear picture of what the region needs to thrive in the long run.
“It’s all about looking to the future and ensuring we are given the tools we need to take advantage of global shifts in energy, mineral demand and green manufacturing,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.
“At the most basic level we need to support for our power transmission capability and water security. Copper String is virtually shovel ready and is an absolute no-brainer for State Government support.
“There is no downside to bringing affordable and reliable power transmission to the Northwest Minerals Province and unlocking bulk green energy credentials for Townsville, not to mention the $30b private project investment pipeline it unlocks for our region.
“Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct is home to many of these projects, and ongoing funding to develop trunk infrastructure will attract further private investment from green energy and green industry proponents.
“We need the State to continue to support the next stages of funding for the Hells Gates Dam project, which will unlock a huge amount of knowledge about the best ways to manage the whole Burdekin catchment and will pay dividends for the entire region for decades to come.
“We also talked to the Treasurer about affordable housing and the impact this will have on attracting skills to our region to unleash the major projects we have coming our way in the region.
“Our health and education sectors require urgent funding to unlock projects like TropIQ, which will cement our region as a global leader in tropical knowledge and tropical health, generating thousands of new-economy jobs and producing billions of dollars’ worth of economic activity over the next decade.
“We believe this budget needs to pay dividend to the regions that over the past 2 years have kept this state succeeding. We are aware that there increases to mining royalties coming in to play, and the concern for us is that we’re being performance punished for our efforts keeping Queensland moving over the last two and half years.
“We hope it will not it be business as usual where we see the windfall from the work of regional Queenslanders being funnelled off to cover cost blowouts projects in the Southeast Corner.”