Regional growth high on agenda
SUSTAINING and increasing economic development in regional Queensland will dominate discussions at this weekend’s Australian Labor Party State Conference.
More than $ 350,000 is expected to be injected into Townsville as Labor officials descend on the region.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will be among leaders visiting the region, with a welcome dinner at the Townsville Entertainment Centre to kick off festivities tonight.
In a draft document obtained by the Bulletin, the State Platform 2017 – to be discussed tomorrow – lists a number of policies including job creation, healthy living and education and training developments.
It says Labor will reduce emissions from land management, transport and industry across a raft of measures including investigating the feasibility of implementing carbon capture and storage to existing coal- fired power stations.
It also reaffirms the party’s commitment to the Great Barrier Reef, saying it would review and strengthen marine and coastal management laws.
Mr Shorten and the Premier will make keynote speeches tomorrow from 9am, with eight platforms including “A Strong Economy”, “Building Connected Communities” and “Our Environment Our Future” throughout the day.
While the draft document only mentions Townsville specifically on eight occasions, it flags “regional” 82 times.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the conference was about “really driving home” what the key issues affecting Townsville were to Mr Shorten.
“What are we doing around the jobs agenda and what are we doing to promote that, they’re some of the issues that will be discussed,” he said.
“How do we get jobs that get the economy moving, what more do we need to do?”
Townsville hasn’t hosted the annual conference since 1984, with the event to attract 399 delegates. Up to 100 activists are also expected to protest tomorrow morning, with local police having engaged with various groups already.
Mr Stewart said the conference would enable Labor to discuss policy development and establish its position on important issues such as health and education.
“I have a motion or two that I will be presenting,” he said. “It’s a very big event. “When it was at the Gold Coast last year it completely packed out the convention centre down there.”