- Regional infrastructure, renewable energy and workforce attraction are in focus as the members of the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Regional Community Forum gather in Mackay on Monday.
- The event is chaired by the Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure Julieanne Gilbert.
The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan creates vast opportunities across regional Queensland, especially in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region.
Since 2015, approximately $1.5 billion invested in the region to create about 1 gigawatt of large-scale renewable energy, supporting approximately 1400 construction jobs.
More than $7 billion of additional clean energy infrastructure investment forecast for the region by 2040.
The vast cane fields and mountain range surrounding Mackay will be a source of new innovations in biofuels, while playing home to the largest pumped hydro energy storage scheme in the world.
At 5GW, its generation will be two and a half times bigger than Snowy 2.0, and big enough to currently power a third of Queensland.
Forum members will visit key projects in the region, including the Queensland University of Technology – Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant which is engaged in pioneering research converting biomass into biofuels, green chemicals and other bioproducts, supporting a cleaner environment.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan:
“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is helping to power this region. The Plan will support workforce transition and galvanise the recruitment of workers from across Australia,” Minister Ryan said.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, Meaghan Scanlon:
“The Queensland Government has set aside $273.5 million to support exploration of the Pioneer-Burdekin and Borumba Pumped Hydro Energy Storage projects. “
“Community engagement and environmental and cultural considerations are central to this work, which is why the Forum is so important to this region,” Minister Scanlon said.
Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure, Julieanne Gilbert:
“It is fantastic to gather for the first Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Regional Community Forum of the year, and to continue the important work to create a brighter future by discussing priorities for the region.
“I thank the Forum members for their amazing support and advice,” Assistant Minister Gilbert said.
- Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested $4 million in Mackay Isaac Whitsunday training infrastructure with new or upgraded facilities at TAFE campuses at Bowen, Cannonvale and Mackay.
- Since the introduction of Buy Queensland on 1 September 2017, the Queensland Government has invested, through procurement, more than $760 million in more than 2760 businesses in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region, as at 31 December 2022.
- The Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan, and the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon are also attending.
- The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Regional Community Forum is one of seven Forums to be held in regional centres across the state on Monday, with similar Forums for Central Queensland, Darling Downs South West Queensland, Far North Queensland, North-North West Queensland, Western Queensland, and Wide Bay Burnett Fraser Coast.
- 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.