New Vision for a competitive North – IFANN update 21/4/11

I’ve been talking about skills shortages a lot in the Ideas for a new North emails. And here’s why: this video from ABC’s the 7.30 Report explains how the skills shortages actually affect you. The resource dependent country town Roma, Queensland is an example of just how deep the skills shortages problem is in rural Australia.

Here’s another video from Sky News saying that WA will need 40,000 workers in the next two years to deal with the mining boom.

On Tuesday the Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, made this important speech. In it he talks about ‘Enterprise Migration Agreements’ – in other words, bringing vistor workers to Australia to cope with skills shortages. This sort of thinking should be supported.

And in carbon tax news, Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said last week that the coal industry will definitely not be exempt from the federal carbon tax. Read this article from yesterday’s The Age.

Just a reminder that Professor Bob Carter and I are going to be talking at free information sessions in North Queensland about the carbon tax and northern Australian development next week.

We’re lucky enough to have two guest speakers Mr George Christensen MP, Federal Member for Dawson, speaking in Mackay and Mr Bob Katter MP, Federal Member for Kennedy, speaking in Charters Towers.

Here are the details:

Mackay: 27 April 2011 – with remarks from George Christensen MP, Federal Member for Dawson
5.45pm for 6pm start
Lynette Denny Room
Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre
Alfred Street, Mackay

Charters Towers: 28 April 2011 – with remarks from Mr Bob Katter MP, Federal Member for Kennedy
5.15pm for 5.30pm start
Arthur Titley Centre
101 Mossman St, Charters Towers

Townsville:  29 April 2011
7am for 7.15am start
Coral Sea Room
Jupiters Townsville Hotel & Casino
Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville

For more information visit RSVP to Rob Phayer at or on (03) 9600 4744.

As always, send me an email to let me know what your ideas for a new North are –