Mackay has stated its case for help saying the region has borne the brunt of the economic downturn.
The State Government has announced a suite of measures to help stimulate the Townsville economy following the move by Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel to enter into voluntary administration.
Mackay was the largest economic contributor to state coffers in the Northern region yet was continually overlooked for government assistance and job-creating opportunities, Mackay-based Resource Industry Group chair Tony Caruso said.
“We have well-established, ready-to-go infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce yet the Palaszczuk Government has again flown past us, instead taking its focus to Townsville as the ‘major regional centre’ for the North,” Mr Caruso said.
More than 20,000 jobs had been lost in the resource sector across Queensland in the past two years, with the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions being the worst hit, Mr Caruso said.
“Mackay’s entire mining, manufacturing and engineering sector has been hard hit by the plunging coal prices, with spending by the mining houses down 30 per cent in the Mackay region,” he said.
“In fact, 7000 jobs have disappeared in the past 12 months.”
Bringing Galilee Basin projects including the Adani coal, rail and port development out of the courts would be a good start, Mr Caruso said.
He also called on the State Government to back some of the projects identified under the Diversify Mackay Leadership Alliance.