New boost to de­velop the North

Townsville Bulletin - - STATE OF ORIGIN III -

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.

Pa­tri­cia O’Cal­laghan

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