New boost to develop the North
with THE developing Northern Australia agenda continues to gain momentum with the release of the Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper over the weekend.
Townsville Enterprise is taking an active role in helping shape the reform agenda with regular submissions and faceto- face meetings with relevant portfolio ministers and bureaucrats. While the Integrated Stadium and Entertainment Centre remains the centrepiece project, it is not the only one. A number of key infrastructure projects will drive economic growth and jobs in the Townsville region such as the Townsville Eastern Access Corridor and the Townsville Port Expansion Project.
The Mount Isa to Townsville supply chain currently supports $ 15 billion of freight and these projects will enable growth in exports from the region and further strengthen its reputation as the largest trade hub in Northern Australia.
The eastern rail link will improve the efficiency of the supply chain and create capacity for growth, taking railed freight out of the city network.
The Port Expansion Project will ensure vital capacity exists to accommodate growth in agriculture commodities, mining and resources, fuel and general cargo.
Agriculture is a key strength of the region and also presents significant growth opportunities with enormous demand from Asia. Security of water supply for irrigation is needed to boost investments into agriculture developments.
Expansion of the Burdekin Dam should be a key priority.
Additionally, the recent CSIRO study into opportunities for water and agricultural development in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments show it is feasible, economically viable and sustainable for these sources to irrigate an area five times the size of the Ord River scheme in Western Australia.
Using the Northern Australia White Paper as a starting point, Townsville Enterprise is developing the region’s infrastructure strategy.
We will work with our key stakeholders, infrastructure owners, operators and users and our members to develop a framework that assesses the economic infrastructure needs of the region. This process will identify the highest priority economic infrastructure requirements and a plan to deliver them in order of priority.