Gladstone wants more government support and investment
MORE government support in planning and regulation, plus infrastructure investment is what Gladstone said it wants, according to a new report called "What Queensland Wants".
The Next Economy's Doctor Amanda Cahill spent more than 15 months speaking to hundreds of people and groups around Queensland about what they wanted for their communities, including two sessions at Gladstone.
The Next Economy also held forums at Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, and on the South Burnett.
Dr Cahill said each community saw its future potential in its own way, they shared a similar hope for the future and a wish for governments to put politics aside and focus on the needs of regional Queenslanders.
The accumulation of knowledge from the forums resulted in a new report called What Queensland Wants.
"The recommendations in What Queensland Wants hold the potential to create good, lasting jobs across the regions," Dr Cahill said.
"And we've got everything we need to do it.
"The only barrier is politics.
"Do we want the country to move forward, or are politics more important," one participant asked at the forums.
It was at those forums members of the community, along with industry and local government groups, laid out their hopes for the city.
"In Gladstone, the conversation focused on how the region can take advantage of the growing renewable energy to protect heavy industry into the future," Dr Cahill said.
"Industry representatives in particular want more support from the government in terms of planning, regulation and investment in transmission infrastructure so they can get on with the job of strengthening and diversifying the regional economy."
Dr Cahill said increasing the availability of renewable energy for heavy industry in Gladstone would allow those businesses to access cleaner, cheaper - and more reliably cheaper - power than through gas.
Participants in Gladstone were also excited about the prospect of a green hydrogen industry, both as a new and profitable export industry in its own right and the cheap access to power it offered industry, businesses, and households across the city.