Media Release – Workforce figures show development vital for Northern Australia

27 January 2014
Office of Senator Ian Macdonald
The urgent need for the real development of Northern Australia has been highlighted by the recently released employment figures according to North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald.
According to a report released this week by regional economist Colin Dwyer, official December 2013 figures show the Northern & North West regions workforce fell by 4,400 in December 2013.  The region is now running over 9,000 jobs below its long run average workforce size and 20,800 below peak workforce of 153,800 in December 2010.
“These figures show that it is imperative we carry out the Coalition’s pre-election promise to produce a White Paper on the Development of Northern Australia by September this year,” Senator Macdonald said.
“The potential for Northern Australia to be the nation’s economic powerhouse when the mining boom comes to an end can only be realised by an effective, well-thought-out and innovative plan as we promised in the lead-up to the election.
“While we are still suffering severe drought in the west, the live cattle trade for coastal graziers is picking up, as we expected it would under a Coalition government.
“Now it is vital that we follow through on our promise and produce a blueprint for the development of Northern Australia to take advantage of everything we have to offer.
“Minerals, energy, water abound in the North and the North’s proximity to Asia, and the burgeoning giant which is Papua New Guinea is a real plus. These are the unique natural advantages that the North has.
“In addition to that we are perfectly placed to provide education, health services and medical research services to Asia and the Pacific.
“But to achieve this, and to halt the slide in employment figures we must produce a workable plan and that is what our White Paper will give us – a practical and achievable pathway to the result we need to take advantage of our unique position in the Tropical World.”
Courtesy of the Office of Senator Ian Macdonald

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