Many happy re­turns on Bud­get day?

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - with Colin Dwyer

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.

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