St George Holds Regional Forum for Darling Downs SW

  • Education, training and employment pathways are in focus for the Darling Downs South West Regional Community Forum held in St George on Monday.
  • The Forum is chaired by the Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard.

The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan creates vast opportunities across regional Queensland.

In the Darling Downs region since 2015, approximately $5 billion has been invested in more than 2800 megawatts of renewable energy, supporting more than 2600 construction jobs.

Estimated additional investment in electricity infrastructure for the Darling Downs region of more than $9 billion by 2040.

In South East Queensland and Toowoomba since 2015, approximately $500 million invested on more than 200 megawatts of renewable energy, supporting approximately 500 construction jobs.

The Southern Renewable Energy Zone will attract thousands of workers from towns like Dalby, Warwick and Toowoomba building the biggest wind farms in the State to power the homes, businesses and industries of Brisbane and northern New South Wales.

Together, the Darling Downs and South-West Region will also be making Queensland an attractive place to run a business.

The Palaszczuk Government is also delivering the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future program upgrading TAFE campuses across the regions, building on our 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, the upgrades are ensuring Queenslanders can access a world-class TAFE facility to train in.

Forum members will visit key projects in the region, including Moonrocks Farms which is a fifth-generation family business engaging in environmentally sustainable farming practices, with traineeships supporting the local workforce.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy are delivering employment opportunities to the region.

“The Queensland Government investments in, and support for, regional energy, education and workforce initiatives emphasise that we are committed to a brighter future for the Darling Downs South West region and for all regional Queenslanders.”

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Treasury Charis Mullen:

“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work program continues to support the Darling Downs South West region by assisting people to secure good jobs,” Assistant Minister Mullen said.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard:

“I look forward to working with the Forum members as we take the next steps on Path to Treaty, building understanding of our shared history and setting out a way forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Queensland Government to work together because, together, we are making a difference to the region,” Ms Howard said.

Fast Facts

  • Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested $13.6 million in training infrastructure in the Darling Downs South West region through new or upgraded facilities at TAFE campuses at Chinchilla, Roma, Toowoomba and Warwick.
  • Since 2015, $49.2 million has been invested in the Darling Downs South West region through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to assist 6894 disadvantaged Queenslanders. As at 31 January 2023, 5727 Queenslanders have been assisted, with 3853 participants securing jobs as a direct result of participation in the initiative.
  • Under the Diverse Queensland Workforce program, two projects in the Darling Downs South West region have been approved for $582,400 to assist 208 migrants, refugees and international students into employment. As at 31 January 2023, 118 participants have been assisted with 60 people securing jobs.
  • Since the introduction of Buy Queensland on 1 September 2017, the Queensland Government has invested, through procurement, $2.51 billion with 5780 businesses in the Darling Downs South West region, as at 31 December 2022.

Further Background

  • The Darling Downs South West Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state, with similar forums for Far North Queensland, North-North West Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Western Queensland, Central 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.

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