The Palaszczuk government has announced a range of initiatives that will create thousands of new jobs in North Queensland. It is hoped the employment opportunities will offset some of the losses experienced across the region’s mining sector in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke claimed that the loss of 550 positions at Queensland Nickel was particularly challenging for locals. However, she said the government is now keen to re-emphasise upcoming job opportunities that will soon become available.
One of the biggest sources of jobs in the state over the next year is the Accelerated Works Programme. The scheme is set to support 800 roles in North Queensland and expedite $367 million worth of projects.
“In Townsville, that includes $210 million worth of accelerated projects to support more than 480 local jobs, in addition to our investment of more than $540 million in infrastructure this financial year to support around 1,500 jobs,” Ms O’Rourke explained.
She added that the State Infrastructure Plan, which was announced earlier this month, would fund 86 North Queensland ventures over a four-year period. Moreover, the schemes will cost an estimated $5.4billion.
Investment in North Queensland
According to Ms O’Rourke, the large-scale investments in North Queensland’s infrastructure followed a number of economic roundtables she attended last year. She met with over 130 business leaders from the region to discuss pain points preventing growth.
The minister also visited Canberra last month to promote opportunities available in North Queensland to federal government representatives and opposition members. One of the main topics under discussion was Townsville Stadium.
“I’m proud our government has committed $100 million towards the stadium, as I understand how important it is revitalising the CBD, stimulating growth and creating up to 700 jobs,” she explained.
This is not the only project that is expected to boost employment in Townsville in the near future. Earlier this month, the Queensland government confirmed that work was underway on a $1.1 million disability housing estate in the city, which would support jobs for local tradespeople, including apprentices and trainees.
Meanwhile, $25 million has been invested in the Townsville-Mount Isa line. The track is a key freight passage that transports minerals from Mount Isa to the Port of Townsville. Infrastructure improvements on the line will support approximately 75 local jobs.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator