I’d like to welcome you back to Success North Queensland as the magazine resumes business as usual as the publication for local business development and representation.
In the last edition, Editor Marissa Candy wrote about the ever-changing market we currently find ourselves in. As the months go by, the only certainty is that we live in uncertain times.
While COVID-19 continues to have devastating effects, I’m proud to say Council’s pandemic plan has allowed us to develop an economic plan that can cater for our community’s needs at this time.
In our 2020/2021 budget we stripped back non-essential spending across the business, have foregone revenue as part of our combined $45 million in COVID support packages since March, and established extensions and payment plans for ratepayers experiencing financial difficulty as part of our new Hardship Policy.
While economic injection is critical at this time, we also need to coordinate and accelerate the health, social and economic recovery of Townsville and the greater North Queensland region from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we’ve established TaskForceNQ, in collaboration with stakeholders from across North Queensland including state members of Parliament and the Federal Member for Herbert.
Together we have developed a clear plan for developing and maintaining growth in the region for the next 10 to 15 years by identifying and prioritising industries, projects and sectors such as:
- Advanced industrial, manufacturing and agricultural projects;
- IT, health and education capability development;
- Waste re-use and sustainable energy development;
- Tourism and events, and;
- Defence investment opportunities
While we find ourselves living in uncertain times, there has never been a better time to plan for future development, investment and opportunities.
Creating and maintaining jobs in Townsville is essential for economic growth as our region recovers. That is why we continue to push for projects that generate jobs and build the platform for our city’s future. The Queensland Government’s commitment to fully fund Stage 2 of the 1.8 metre Haughton Pipeline is a prime example of one such project, with the $195 million pipeline having the very real potential to create up to 1000 direct and indirect jobs throughout construction.
This project isn’t just about ticking the boxes in terms of job creation but it’s about our commitment to securing long-term water security for the region through the roll out of Council’s 3-Point Water Security plan. This plan includes the construction of the Pipeline and Recycled Water Reuse Scheme as well as the Water Smart Package.
Water security is everyone’s responsibility, and we’re asking everyone to make small changes around your household and take the Water Smart Pledge during National Water Week, because here in North Queensland we know every drop matters.
While many borders remain closed it doesn’t preclude us from maintaining contacts, lobbying all levels of Government as we fight to ensure North Queensland, particularly Townsville, gets its fair share in the months and years ahead. We will continue to lobby the Australian Government to ensure our city secures the $195 million committed to Stage 2 of the Pipeline for use in other key projects to address our community’s needs, drive our region’s recovery and push the Townsville region into the future.
While we’re heavily focused on the projects that will be the catalyst to economic recovery, we have not forgotten the importance of the social and mental wellbeing of our community.
Which is why events remain a top priority for our region’s recovery. As North Queenslanders we’re well known for loving a good party, we’ve been dubbed the Events capital of Northern Australia and even in a global pandemic, with the correct strategies and precautions in place, I believe we can keep this title moving forward.
The whole world is facing a period of uncertainty, and as the Mayor of Townsville I am committed to working will all levels of Government to focus on our community’s recovery and to drive broader economic growth for Townsville and the greater North Queensland region.