Emerald hosting Central Queensland Regional Community Forum

  • Workforce attraction, economic diversification and regional service delivery are in focus for the Central Queenslad Community Forum, to be held in Emerald on Monday.
  • The Forum is co-chaired by the Assistant Minister for Education Brittany Lauga and the Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke.

Central Queensland is a powerhouse, playing a key role in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

More than $400 million invested on more than 250 megawatts of renewable energy in Central Queensland since 2015, supporting approximately 600 construction jobs.

Another $9 billion forecast to be invested on clean energy infrastructure in Central Queensland by 2040.

The Palaszczuk Government has recently announced the almost $1 billion Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline construction, supporting 400 local jobs.

Central Queensland’s existing power stations will become even more important when they take on a new life as the state’s Clean Energy Hubs.

They will power the growth of the region’s factories, create more jobs in more industries, and turbocharge your exports, meaning local jobs stay, guaranteed.

To equip the next generation of skilled workers, the State Government is also delivering the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future program, upgrading TAFE campuses across the regions, building on a record investment in training infrastructure of almost $280 million since 2017.

$85 million has been invested in Advancing our Training Infrastructure which modernised seven flagship campuses across Queensland; these upgrades are ensuring Queenslanders can access a world-class TAFE facility to train in.

Forum mEmbers will visit key projects in the region, including Emerald Coaches and the Central Queensland Smart Cropping Centre, which brings together research, development and extension in farming systems, agronomy, crop innovation and plant protection.

Quotes attributable to CQ Regional Community Forum Co-Chair, Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga:

“The future of Central Queensland continues to be strengthened by the Forum members.

“I thank them for their hard work throughout last year and I look forward to discussing the benefits of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan for the region and working with everyone to create a brighter future for Central Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to CQ Regional Community Forum Co-Chair, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke:

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to Central Queensland.

“This forum is another opportunity to demonstrate that commitment in Emerald to forum members from across the region and discuss issues that matter to them.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Agriculture Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner:

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and the agriculture opportunities across the region ensure Central Queensland is key to our cleaner, greener future.

“The Queensland Government’s draft AgTech Roadmap will support agribusinesses, producers, developers, education providers, governments and investors, which is great news for the region.

“I am looking forward to visiting the Central Queensland Smart Cropping Centre, which is on the cutting edge of innovation in agriculture.”

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs and COVID Economic Recovery, Bart Mellish:

“Central Queensland is our state’s powerhouse, with Emerald, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Biloela at the heart of our energy system.

“The new $983 million Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline is another great addition to the region, providing water security and supporting jobs today and into the future.”

Fast Facts

  • Since 2015, more than $58.7 million has been invested in Central Queensland through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to assist 8010 disadvantaged Queenslanders. As at 31 January 2023, 6609 Queenslanders have been assisted, with 4578 participants securing jobs as a direct result of participation in the initiative.
  • Under the Diverse Queensland Workforce program, one project in Central Queensland, launched in January 2023, has been approved for $133,800 to assist 60 migrants, refugees and international students into employment.
  • Since the introduction of Buy Queensland on 1 September 2017, the Queensland Government has invested, through procurement, $1.1 billion with 3750 businesses in Central Queensland, as at 31 December 2022.
  • The Fourth Action Plan 2022–23 to 2025–26 of the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026 provides a comprehensive blueprint capturing the government’s commitments to strengthen Queensland’s response to domestic and family violence over the next four years.

Further Background

  • The Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, and the Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs and COVID Economic Recovery Bart Mellish are also attending.
  • The Central Queensland Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state, with similar Forums in Far North Queensland, North North West Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Western Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett Fraser Coast, and Darling Downs South West Queensland.
  • This is the first meeting of the Forum members in 2023, with three more Regional Community Forums scheduled throughout the year.
  • The Regional Community Forums are part of the Queensland Government’s Advancing Queensland’s Regions strategy, supported by the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland.

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