A regional delegation will travel to Canberra next week to fast-track an economic recovery following the recent unprecedented flooding event in Queensland’s north and north-west.
Mayors and representatives from the North Queensland and North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, MITEZ, Queensland Resources Council and AgForce will join Townsville Enterprise on the trip, starting on Monday.
The delegation will meet Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Townsville Enterprise chief executive officer Patricia O’Callaghan said the delegation would send a united message that extraordinary events required an extraordinary response.
“We are travelling to Canberra as a united regional delegation seeking immediate action on the economic rebuild of communities across North Queensland and North-West Queensland in the wake of one of the most devastating natural disasters we have seen,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
“We have secured meetings with several relevant senior members of Cabinet and the Opposition to immediately put in place the plans to address the situation now and build for the long-term economic recovery of the north and north-west.
“The discussions will not solely focus on the immediate recovery and the drag caused by the disaster, but also to deal with the pre-existing structural issues that undermine future resilience and the investment necessary to resolve these issues.
“This will require all levels of government to work in concert to establish a significant response to the ongoing crisis, with the objective of returning confidence and demonstrating that nobody will be left behind.”
The delegation will table a number of economic stimulus proposals to aid “community recovery and long-term prosperity in the north”.
“We will be promoting the need for further investment into the key infrastructure and industries that are the lifeblood of regional Queensland,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
“We need commitments towards these priorities now more than ever to ensure the north keeps ticking over.
“This includes flood-proofing and upgrading the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line … as well as support for the mining and resources industry in regional Queensland.
“Governments will play a key role in our region’s economic recovery following this devastating weather event, and the economy building package is about giving communities and people hope for a better future.
“We know it won’t be an overnight cure, and there is plenty of work still required on the immediate recovery, but over the next few days in Canberra we will be endorsing putting significant recovery and resilience plans in place to ensure communities and industries from across north and north-west Queensland can get back on their feet as soon as possible.”