WEEK 1 WRAP UP
Since the starter’s gun was fired on Tuesday morning the North has certainly been in the spotlight of the 2020 State Election. As to be expected, North Queensland has shaped up as a key battleground of the election and was a hot-spot of activity during the first week.
Over the past four days, the Premier, Opposition Leader and KAP Leader travelled to the North for the first week of the campaign, visiting Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns seeking to frame up debate around their core policies. Across this first week, the message has been clear - it's all about jobs.
Road upgrades, lower energy prices, manufacturing grants, renewable energy hubs, the continuation of the Glencore Smelter, water infrastructure, education, preference deals and how to vote cards have dominated the state conversation. These projects and policies have certainly taken the forefront and it has been a welcome start considering these are all priorities the North has been advocating for, some nearly 50 years in the making.
Scroll down to view what was announced this week. In the final week of the election campaign we will complete a final summary of all announcements.
WHO WAS HERE THIS WEEK?
- Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
- Opposition Leader, Deb Frecklington
- Katter's Australian Party Leader, Robbie Katter
- Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, Dr Steven Miles
- Treasurer Cameron Dick
- Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham
WHAT DID THEY ANNOUNCE?
Starting her campaign in Mount Isa, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk begun the week with an announcement towards CopperString 2.0, announcing:
- The signing of an implementation agreement with CuString for the $1.7B CopperString 2.0 project meaning the government will underwrite development costs, including the EIS that is currently underway
- $100M TAFE investment across Queensland, including $10.6M Hydrogen & Renewable Energy Facility and $3.6M Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab delivered to the Bohle TAFE over three years
- $566K Murray Sports Complex upgrade; and secured WNBL for North Queensland
- $25M Townsville University Hospital upgrade (Hybrid Theatre, expanded outpatient department, upgrading the Persistent Pain Management Service, and robotic surgery in partnership with the Mater)
- $1 billion 'Greater Schools Plan' on upgrading school buildings, facilities and infrastructure
LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington also came out of the blocks strongly with a number of announcements across the first week, including:
- Reducing energy costs for manufacturers by 20% through a $493M Community Service Obligation to Energy Queensland to remove rate of return charges on manufacturing businesses
- $20M 'Built in Queensland Fund' to partner with business on providing grants of up to $50K over the next two years
- $5M towards a Robotic Surgical Arm in Townsville
- Land tax discount of 75% on new build-to-rent housing projects
- $1.3B investment towards creating new health jobs, including 2530 nurses and midwives, 320 paramedics, 750 doctors and 840 allied health professionals
During the Meet the Leader event Townsville Enterprise held with Katter's Australian Party Leader Robbie Katter on Thursday, Robbie reiterated a number of key projects and policies for the State Election including:
- Ethanol production
- Water for the North
- CopperString 2.0
- The Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line
- Infrastructure for the North
- Addressing social issues
- Review of Bluecards
- Review of Future Fund
MEET THE LEADER EVENT
This week we held our first 'Meet the Leader of the State Election' event with Katter's Australian Party Leader & Member for Traeger Robbie Katter MP. The event provided our business community an opportunity to hear Robbie's vision for North and North West Queensland, his regional development priorities, and view on the role minor parties play in Parliament. We thank Robbie for his time, all of our attendees, and A Touch of Salt for having us.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
This week we held our last webinar in our 'Unlock the North Webinar Series' which focused on Health and Knowledge. We had a great line up of panelists from James Cook University and Townsville Hospital and Health Service to discuss the opportunities for North Queensland in the development of a health and knowledge hub that focuses on science, technology and innovation.
Click HERE to view any webinars you may have missed across this series over the past month, including:
- Defence in North Queensland
- Economic Recovery with COVID-19 Commission Chairman Nev Power & Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott
- Advanced Manufacturing in North Queensland
- North Queensland's Water and Agricultural Opportunities
- CopperString 2.0: Re-powering Townsville & North West Queensland's Economy
- Strong Australia Network
We also had a Federal Budget on Tuesday evening. You can read our breakdown of what the 2020/21 Federal Budget means for North Queensland HERE. In this Budget, CopperString 2.0 also received funding support through a $3.9B water infrastructure and energy investment from the Morrison Government. The tax relief measures outlined in Tuesday's Budget have also been passed by the Parliament today.