Many happy returns on Budget day?
FIRSTLY a follow up from last week’s column, several people suggested raising the littering fine to $ 5000; a good suggestion that is part of the long- term solution.
Also one group of international students studying in Townsville offered to clean up our mess. What a wonderful positive gesture from people who aren’t from Townsville but have pride in this city.
If you belong to a local community or sporting group we may be able to help with your cleanup. I look forward to helping clean up Townsville with this group.
To other matters – Happy State Budget Day. State budgets aren’t the same as federal fiscal plans. It’s sort of deciding which one is better, Australian cricket or Sheffield Shield? Sorry for the rhetorical question.
Last month we heard Minister Trad tell Brisdrain that the major component of the state Budget this year would include three projects, all in SEQ.
They included an extension of light rail on the Gold Coast; new rail to the Sunny Coast and another bridge across the Brisdrain River.
Why Minister Trad announced these initiatives and not the Premier or Treasurer is curious.
What state public investment is the Brisdrain Government putting into the Magnetic Coast region to drive economic growth, create jobs and boost confidence?
The wider Townsville region ( Northern and North West) is a unique area with a growing population, diversified economy and unique challenges.
The wider region has a broadbased economy with significant manufacturing, mining, agriculture, world- class education facilities; the largest regional hospital in Queensland; a deep water access port that is a world leader in refined base metal and sugar exports; largest army barracks in Australia and significant environmental assets.
The Northern and North West region is the most diversified economy in North Queensland. This diversification will encourage jobs growth in the future and improve net migration. The economic contribution of the NNW is about $ 20 billion or around 7 per cent of the state’s economy. Our economic contribution is a significant component of Our Fair Share of state public investment.
The wider Townsville region also has many competitive and strategic advantages compared to other regional cities that complement a promising future; its access to affordable water; vast affordable and appropriate industrial and residential land; a better educated and skilled workforce; a deep water access port but baseload power prices for industry are a challenge.
All we basically ask for is Our Fair Share from tonight’s state Budget.