Region will need to fight

YESTERDAY’S dramatic election result delivered “some political challenges” for Central Queensland, an economics professor said.

CQUniversity professor in regional development economics John Rolfe said the new Gillard Government would need to fulfil a number of promises to the groups that had supported it, as well as the emerging alliance with the Greens.

“It is unclear where this will lead to, but it appears likely that new resource developments will become more difficult to negotiate, and that there will be pressure to cross-subsidise wealth into other states,” professor Rolfe told The Morning Bulletin.

“Central Queensland will need to be very clear in pressing its case for supporting ongoing resource development and job creation as well as the provision of new services and infrastructure to cope with the pressures of a growing population.”

He said it was interesting the country independents had followed the same split that had emerged in the election, with the resource rich regions falling into the conservative camp (Bob Katter), and the southern regions falling towards Labor (Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott).

“This illustrates a developing trend in Australia where people in the resource regions (Queensland and Western Australia) focusing on growth and development, while people in southern Australia focus on redistribution of wealth and subsidisation of services.”

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