The Working Queensland Cabinet Committee has committed to creating new jobs in Mount Isa, as well as building infrastructure to strengthen the region’s economy.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with a number of cabinet members in the city, including State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey and Employment Minister Grace Grace.
“The meeting was an important opportunity for cabinet ministers to meet locally to discuss local projects and opportunities for future economic growth and employment,” Ms Palaszczuk stated.
According to the state government, a number of key achievements have been accomplished in Mount Isa recently. These include a $25 million investment for the Mount Isa-Townsville rail line upgrades – which will support 75 regional jobs – and the extension of Mount Isa’s copper smelter until 2022.
The Palaszczuk government also formed the North West Minerals Province Taskforce, which will attempt to address challenges to the region’s resources sector.
Furthermore, the Gulf Savannah Development and Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone will both receive $200,000 from the state government. These initiatives are designed to tackle strategic projects that support local communities.
Health services and other infrastructure
Ministers have committed $13.2 million to renovating Mount Isa Hospital, which is part of a wider $65.3 million upgrade project on the facility. Currently, the hospital offers primary, secondary and community health care, as well as specialist services for psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery and anaesthetics.
The health care provider will employ 21 new nurse graduates this year, bringing the number of new nurses hired to 34 since 2015. Other changes include refurbishments to the central sterilisation department and investment in the radiology department to support the addition of an MRI machine.
Transport, energy and telecommunications networks are also on the agenda, with the Queensland government’s State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) and Building Our Regions scheme providing funding for various initiatives.
The SIP Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program, for example, will supply $180 million in funding for key infrastructure ventures that will boost jobs and could offer opportunities for apprentices and trainees in Queensland.
Lastly, a number of north-west schools are receiving $140,000 worth of maintenance works during the Easter holidays. Mornington Island State School is receiving the lion’s share of the money, with $68,500 going towards a replacement shade structure and $20,000 being used for refurbishments on blocks A, B and F.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator