CHO + Premier
CHO + Premier

Leaders’ plan to create 50,000 jobs

Townsville leaders are demanding cash promises from Labor and the LNP for dozens of projects they say can create 14,200 permanent jobs and 46,300 in construction just weeks before the state election campaign.

The Townsville delegation is in Brisbane this week meeting government and opposition frontbenchers to demand action on projects that would "unlock the north" and pull Queensland out of its COVID slump.

Mayors say the region can easily sustain one million more residents if agricultural, resources and business possibilities could be properly realised and have called for the area to be declared a "zone of national significance" with payroll tax reductions and exploration allowances to encourage investment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will speak at a dinner hosted by the delegation. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will speak at a dinner hosted by the delegation. Photographer: Liam Kidston

The timely push, which includes a dinner Wednesday night where Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will speak, comes as both major parties vie for the key election battlefield city ahead of the October 31 poll.

Labor is at risk in three critical seats while the LNP holds a fourth Townsville seat by a wafer-thin margin.

Their wish list includes water and power projects like the Big Rocks Weir, Hells Gates irrigation scheme, raising Burdekin Falls Dam, and the North Queensland Hydrogen Hub.

Tourism developments include the Townsville Airport and Reef HQ redevelopments, the expansion of the Museum of Underwater Art, a new motorsport precinct and a Palm Island retail and commercial precinct.

Townsville leaders are asking for support for a slew of projects.
Townsville leaders are asking for support for a slew of projects.

A new Simulation and Soldier Systems Centre of Excellence is also proposed to capitalise on defence spending, and a high-speed broadband Townsville Connect project would make the most of the working-from-home revolution.

Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O'Callaghan said they wanted north Queensland at the forefront of decision making.

"We are less than 90 days out from the state election, and … public funds have never been more competitive," Ms O'Callaghan said.

"We have provided a roadmap 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.

"The resource sector alone has $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 … (and) how important a role it can play in rebuilding our tourism economy."

The delegation includes mayors and councillors from Townsville, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and Charters Towers, and Townsville Enterprise and business representatives and will seek meetings in Canberra next.

 

PROJECTS INCLUDE …

 

• Big Rocks Weir

• Hells Gates irrigation scheme

• Raising Burdekin Falls Dam

• North Queensland Hydrogen Hub.

• Townsville Airport redevelopment

• Reef HQ redevelopment

• Museum of Underwater Art expansion

• New motorsport precinct

• Palm Island retail and commercial precinct

• New Simulation and Soldier Systems Centre of Excellence to capitalise on defence spending

• High-speed broadband Townsville Connect project

 

Originally published as Leaders' plan to create 50,000 jobs



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