Road Trip to Highlight the Future of Northern Australia

From Sunday, Townsville Enterprise will embark on its second annual 1,000-kilometre road trip from Mount Isa to Townsville highlighting to its extensive state and national stakeholder base the importance of the North West corridor to the future of Northern Australia.

Driving from Mount Isa to Townsville, the road trip will demonstrate how the North West corridor has all the ingredients to unlock the full potential of Northern Australia.

The road trip will not only highlight the opportunities in the region, but also the challenges facing councils, project proponents, and industry, and how policy tweaks and investment will enable the realisation of those opportunities.

Townsville Enterprise will meet with major mining operators Glencore, MMG Dugald River, and Ravenswood Gold, as well as renewable energy project proponents CopperString 2.0 and WindLab Kennedy Energy Park, emerging vanadium operator Vecco, and agricultural diversifiers.

Engaging with all levels of government is a key component of the week-long itinerary across meetings with the Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart, Member for Traeger Robbie Katter, Senator Susan McDonald, and Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson, as well as membership bodies MITEZ, RDA, and Commerce North West.

There will be updates on Big Rocks Weir, the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, Port of Townsville operations, and how infrastructure like the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor project would increase global export opportunities.

Townsville Enterprise CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith said the road trip will tell the story of how North Queensland is perfectly positioned to drive the growth of Northern Australia.

“Our message for this road trip is that the future of Northern Australia starts here,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.

“From critical minerals, renewable energy, agriculture, water, and enabling infrastructure, we have all the ingredients on our doorstep to drive Northern Australia’s development.

“We have the largest population, an international airport, and a port which services 80% of Northern Australia’s population with general cargo.

“As the largest region in Northern Australia, coupled with future trades of critical minerals, renewable energy and high value crops, this is the place for all levels of government and the private sector to invest.

“Not to mention the significant amount of established infrastructure that we can build upon to grow Northern Australia - that’s why the future starts here.

“The feedback we receive will help establish an even stronger and more informed policy platform for our advocacy leading into the upcoming Federal election.”

The North and North West resources sector represents 20,000 Queensland jobs and contributes $3.2 billion to the regional economy each year. This is a sector that represents significant untapped opportunity with more than $720 billion of known minerals that could be realised if supported by a cost-effective operating environment.

Townsville Enterprise has also convened a roundtable in Cloncurry on Tuesday with the Mayors of Mount Isa, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond, and Flinders Shires to meet with Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart who will also be along the corridor next week.

Resources Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the resources industry was a key contributor to Queensland’s economy.

“That’s why we’re developing the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan to examine the opportunities for the industry over the next 30 years,” he said.
“We know the resources industry has been a traditional strength of North Queensland and it continues to play a crucial part in our economic recovery from COVID-19.

“It will be good to be in the North West with Townsville Enterprise to speak and engage directly with people who play a key role in the resources sector and will be a key driver in the emergence of our new economy minerals industry.”

The road trip will focus attention on the region’s critical priorities where through media, social media, and stakeholder meetings Townsville Enterprise will highlight the barriers and opportunities for Northern Australia’s growth.

MITEZ CEO, Catherine Robson said MITEZ and Townsville Enterprise were working hand in glove to promote the corridor.

“We’re thrilled that Townsville Enterprise and MITEZ are working together with the aim of putting the North West corridor top of mind for all levels of government,” Ms Robson said.

“I look forward to welcoming Claudia to Mount Isa for the beginning of Townsville Enterprise’s road trip shining a light on critical minerals and the key enablers that will turbocharge our region.”

Daily updates on the road trip will be available on the Townsville Enterprise website (townsvilleenterprise.com.au) and via Facebook.

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