Unlock the North: North Queensland Projects & Policies


With thousands of jobs being lost over the past decade as a result of cyclones, monsoonal floods, commodity downturns and now COVID-19, Townsville Enterprise, in partnership with TaskforceNQ and NQROC will tomorrow launch a roadmap that urges Government to unlock the North and invest and support key industries that can play a critical role in Australia’s recovery.

The Unlock the North: Townsville North Queensland Projects and Policies document, developed with TaskforceNQ and the regional councils of Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, and Palm Island outlines how Government can fast-track support to ramp up private investment and jobs for Australians.

The documents outlines a number of projects that can create jobs now, as well as nationally-significant projects and opportunities deserving of Government support at a critical time in the nation’s history. Whilst COVID-19 has required focus on shorter term job creation, there remains an imperative for longer term and strategic economic developments. This document covers both and will continue to grow and evolve like our economy.

North and North West Queensland have the foundations for not only Australia’s recovery but also its growth. Both Federal and State Governments have acknowledged over the past decade the critical importance of Northern Australia to generate jobs and opportunity for the Nation, but now is the time to act on this potential and convert these visions and white papers into real investment and jobs.

All sides of politics have embraced the opportunity to meet and understand this plan at Parliament House this coming week where Townsville Enterprise, TaskforceNQ, the NQROC Mayors and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce will travel to Brisbane from 11-13 August. Across the comprehensive meeting and event program the delegation will engage with the Premier and Cabinet, Opposition Leader and Shadow Ministry, Katter’s Australian Party, NQ First, One Nation and the Greens.

From Chairman Kevin Gill and CEO Patricia O'Callaghan.... 

This document we are launching provides a road-map and plan for thousands of jobs, and given what is happening in other parts of Australia, and the fact our region has been a COVID free environment for some time, the importance of North and North West Queensland to generate wealth and jobs for this country has never been more critical.

Our recent North West road trip highlighted the resource sector alone had $680 billion worth of untapped commodity potential and if we were to unlock even a quarter of this by providing affordable power and more efficient transport networks, we can only imagine the jobs it can create for our community. Not to mention how important a role it can play in rebuilding our tourism economy which was initially decimated through this period.

Often after times of great adversity, the private sector will play a leading role in driving jobs and economic growth for communities, but importantly, State and Federal Governments will play a key role in ensuring the North realises this potential.

For us to achieve that locally, we need Government policy to unlock industries like resources, defence, tourism, health and education and agriculture that can provide the jobs of the new economy but also ensure we don’t go back to the challenged economy we had before COVID-19.

With a short runway into the State Election and Federal Budget, this document provides a framework for our advocacy and we look forward to working with Government to secure the best outcomes for our region. Our time is now.

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