2018 – the year the momentum started to shift in Townsville North Queensland.
It has been a year unlike any other in our region’s recent history, with several major outcomes secured for the north.
On top of $200 million to fully fund Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline, $54 million to kick start phase 1 of the Hells Gates Dam Project, and the Port’s Channel Widening commencing, we recently saw the finalisation of the Singapore Defence agreement’s land deal, Sun Metals’ expansion received the greenlight, Adani’s Carmichael Mine secured finance, and Air North announced a Gold Coast flight connection. This is on top of every day, pylon by pylon, seeing our new stadium become a reality.
The regional economy is expected to recover over the coming years, however the pace and scale of recovery will be contingent on continuing to secure major projects currently under consideration. These include progressing the Hells Gates Dam business case and the $2 million received towards the Museum of Underwater Art, the 6ha Strand Lagoon, leveraging the bilateral relationship with Singapore, and upgrading Reef HQ.
Whilst we have finished the year strongly and lead into 2019 with significant momentum, we remain acutely aware of the challenges still facing our region. We will maintain a firm focus on the areas crippling local business, such as the escalating costs of power, and will unashamedly fight for projects that will create employment opportunities for the 8,000 still currently looking for work.
Thank you to our members and partners for an exciting 2018 and we look forward to a fruitful 2019.