Rocky’s push to go bush
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.