- Clean energy, skills and training, housing, and opportunities from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are the key focus of the Far North Queensland Regional Community Forum, to be held in Gordonvale this Monday.
- The Forum is co-chaired by the Speaker of the House Curtis Pitt and Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Michael Healy.
The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan creates vast opportunities for regional Queensland.
Since 2015, approximately $900 million has been invested in about 400 megawatts of renewable energy, supporting approximately 600 construction jobs in Far North Queensland.
Future investment in electricity infrastructure in Far North Queensland is expected to reach more than $6 billion by 2040.
The Far North’s Kaban Green Power Hub reached a major milestone late last year, with the $373 million wind farm project now officially connected to Queensland’s new SuperGrid.
Construction work is also underway on building a brand new 275kV Queensland SuperGrid Link between Cairns and Townsville.
That SuperGrid Link will improve the reliability, security and affordability of energy supply, and unlock up to 500MW of additional renewable energy capacity on this third circuit to the far north.
The nation’s most remote communities across Far North Queensland will take giant strides in securing their full energy independence while our clean energy will create new industries in Cairns, helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come.
In addition, with the recent introduction of treaty legislation into Parliament, the Forum is an ideal place to continue some very important conversations about treaty, truth telling and healing and what that might mean for the region, as well as thinking about how communities can take part in truth telling.
Forum members will visit key projects around Gordonvale, including the South Cairns State Development Area (SDA), Gordonvale West housing subdivision, Mulgrave Landcare and the new Gordonvale Woolworths complex.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath:
“The Far North Queensland Regional Community Forum is a valuable way to engage with the local community and to discuss the priorities and challenges in the region,” Minister D’Ath said.
“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is supporting investment in our region, and we will continue to work on opportunities for Far North Queensland to be derived from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe:
“The Forum continues to focus on ways to diversify the Far North Queensland economy, including identifying opportunities from the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games, tourism industry, film and television industry and general business support programs,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
- Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested $28.18 million in Far North Queensland training infrastructure with new or upgraded TAFE campuses in Cairns, including the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College, and Thursday Island.
- Since 2015, more than $43.2 million has been invested in Far North Queensland through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to assist 6,470 disadvantaged Queenslanders. As at 31 January 2023, 5,176 Queenslanders have been assisted, with 3,003 participants securing jobs as a direct result of participation in the initiative.
- Under the Diverse Queensland Workforce program, one project in Far North Queensland has been approved for $500,000 to assist 200 migrants, refugees and international students into employment. As at 31 January 2023, 135 participants have been assisted with 95 people securing jobs.
- Since the introduction of Buy Queensland on 1 September 2017, the Queensland Government has invested, through procurement, more than $2.33 billion with more than 5,300 businesses in the Cairns region, as at 31 December 2022.
- Attending the forum are the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath and the Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe.
- The Far North Queensland Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state, with similar Forums for North-North West Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Western Queensland, Central 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.