We can fix it

All Queens­lan­ders have role in re­build­ing state

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - Opin­ion Ma­jor- Gen­eral Mick Slater, Queens­land Re­con­struc­tion Au­thor­ity

HAV­ING just spent more time in North Queens­land, it is ap­par­ent that it is slowly com­ing back, but just like all of the state, ev­ery Queens­lan­der can play a role in its re­turn to bet­ter times.

A hot is­sue, es­pe­cially in the North, is who will do the re­con­struc­tion work.

The state has its own pur­chas­ing poli­cies, but the in­sur­ers in the pri­vate sec­tor are rightly un­der pres­sure. The au­thor­ity has no power to en­force who does pri­vate works, but we do en­cour­age the in­sur­ers to use lo­cal con­trac­tors.

While we can’t en­force this, we can iden­tify those us­ing lo­cals and ac­knowl­edge their com­mu­nity-minded ap­proach.

To the lo­cal con­trac­tors, I urge them to make sure they are reg­is­tered and known to in­dus­try groups and as­so­ci­a­tions if they want the best chance of win­ning lo­cal work.

That said, if in­sur­ers get teams of con­trac­tors from in­ter­state, lo­cals are en­ti­tled to be told.

This is a se­ri­ous rep­u­ta­tional is­sue for the in­surance firms and de­servedly so.

From our dis­cus­sions with lo­cal in­dus­try groups it ap­pears that there is ca­pac­ity within the lo­cal builders to do the work.

Yes, they have to be com­pet­i­tive, but most im­por­tantly they em­ploy lo­cal tradies and they use sup­plies sourced from lo­cal firms. It might ap­pear sim­ple but if lo­cals are en­gaged it means ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit and the re­con­struc­tion dol­lars largely get kept cir­cu­lat­ing and stim­u­lat­ing lo­cal economies.

How else can Queens­lan­ders help the dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties in need?

About this time many peo­ple are plan­ning Easter/ An­zac Day school hol­i­day breaks.

If you are head­ing away please choose a Queens­land re­gion.

Hav­ing just spent the week­end on the Ather­ton Table­land I can tell you that the rain­for­est has never been greener, lusher, nor more invit­ing.

Just like the lo­cal builders is­sue, the best way to get re­gions back on their feet is to have their economies turn­ing over and a mas­sive tourism­linked in­jec­tion will pro­vide vis­i­ble ben­e­fits.

Yes, there is still some dam­age, but just about all re­sorts are op­er­a­tional and of­fer­ing at­trac­tive pack­ages.

It’s about get­ting the mes­sage that while there has been dam­age across Queens­land, most of our state’s tourism re­gions have been largely un­af­fected.

Now, more than ever, is the time to take a Queens­land hol­i­day!

BEN­E­FITS: tak­ing hol­i­days in the North in­stead of in­ter­state or over­seas is seen as a way to re­build the re­gion’s tourism in­dus­try

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