Rocky’s push to go bush

The Morning Bulletin - - YOUR SAY - AN­DREW JEF­FER­SON Deputy Ed­i­tor

THOU­SANDS of mi­grants would move to three Queens­land re­gions - in­clud­ing Rock­hamp­ton - des­per­ate for a pop­u­la­tion boost un­der a plan be­ing hatched by the State Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal coun­cils.

The state is call­ing on its fed­eral coun­ter­parts to sup­port the plan that will tar­get spe­cial­ist skilled work­ers such as en­gi­neers as well as refugees who come from re­mote ar­eas and can work on farms.

The push comes after the ma­jor­ity of the 8000 over­seas mi­grants that per­ma­nently moved to Queens­land in just three months to Sep­tem­ber set­tled in Bris­bane and the Gold Coast.

Rock­hamp­ton, south­west Queens­land and the Cen­tral High­lands were sin­gled out as re­gions where there is de­mand for more mi­grants.

Re­mote towns of Emer­ald and Biloela are in­cluded in the mi­grant blue­print.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son has backed calls for more mi­grants to be sent to Rock­hamp­ton and said the city could ac­com­mo­date an­other 10,000 peo­ple.

The plan would mark a dra­matic shift for refugee re­set­tle­ments in Queens­land, which are cur­rently con­cen­trated in Bris­bane, Lo­gan and Toowoomba.

Re­gional com­mu­ni­ties sur­round­ing Rock­hamp­ton are cry­ing out for skilled mi­grants, par­tic­u­larly in agri­cul­ture.

Some of these com­mu­ni­ties have seen their pop­u­la­tions de­cline in re­cent years.

The chal­lenge, of course, would be to en­sure that the State Gov­ern­ment pro­vides ad­e­quate ser­vices in re­mote ar­eas to ac­com­mo­date any in­flux of new mi­grants.

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