Article – Developing northern Queensland in focus

21 July 2015
Coralee O’Rourke

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke will bring North Queensland into focus at the Developing Northern Australia conference in Townsville today.

The conference, hosted by the Association for Sustainability in Business, will see the Minister join business leaders, academics, non-government organisations and community groups, as well as local and federal government representatives, to address topics relevant to northern Australia.

Minister O’Rourke said a key focus would be how North Queensland fits into the bigger picture of developing northern Australia, including the Federal Government White Paper released in June.

“North Queensland makes up about 75 per cent of the northern Australia region, so we have a very important part to play in growing our region,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“As the Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, I will be working hard to leverage a fair share of federal funding for initiatives listed in the white paper.

“A number of Queensland Government departments contributed to the white paper and we will look at the opportunities it presents from a whole-of-government perspective.

“We’ve formed an inter-departmental committee to coordinate efforts across government, with the first meeting to be held next month.

“The Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centre on Developing Northern Australia also presents exciting opportunities for northern Queensland.

“Because of work already done in our state, Queensland is ready to hit the ground running in the three key areas the research centre will initially focus on—agriculture, food and tropical health.”

Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to working with stakeholders and across all levels of government to achieve the best outcomes for North Queensland.

“This month, I was delighted to join the Premier in opening the Government’s North Queensland office in Townsville, a tangible sign that we are committed to growing the economy in our region,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“I am also hosting a series of economic development roundtables focused on North Queensland, with one in Cairns earlier this month and others to follow in Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa and Brisbane, for stakeholders with an interest in the north.

“From these economic roundtables I am looking to identify five key projects I can champion to improve economic, employment and infrastructure outcomes for North Queensland.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a North Queenslander and be part of a Government that understands the importance of our region to the rest of the state and northern Australia.”

Courtesy of the Hon. Coralee O’Rourke

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