Regional Development Australia Tropical North today released its post pandemic Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Strategy.
RDATN identified those infrastructure projects across the region that will provide the greatest stimulus in the short-term to kick start our economy and create jobs.
Water security, roads and ports underpin the future of agriculture tourism education and small business.
The strategy looks at the short and long term to ensure we are in the best possible position moving into an uncertain economic future.
RDATN chair David Kempton said all business and industry is underpinned by a strong regional economy and enabling infrastructure.
He said RDATN is keen to lay the foundations to connect all major infrastructure which in turn will be a catalyst for future projects.
“RDATN has identified four priority infrastructure projects that build on existing industry and will create more than 3,500 new permanent jobs for the region,” Mr Kempton said.
“This Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Strategy is a gamechanger for the Cairns and Far North Region.
“We have consulted widely, and we stand here together with an investment plan that will deliver for the region.”
Mr Kempton said water infrastructure is the leading force behind diversifying the region’s economic base while supporting existing core industries like tourism and agriculture.
“For example, the Lakeland Irrigation Scheme will drive economic recovery in the short term and provide regional economic stability in the longer term,” he said.
“There is an opportunity, and in fact an imperative, to cut through much of the red and green tape that is not relevant to regional projects or, in the circumstances is not reasonable.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said it was imperative that the Tropical North, with Cairns as its administrative, commercial and logistics centre, build economic and social resilience through a diversified economic base.
“Survivor funding is by nature reactive as the situation changes rapidly and exponentially and requires planning, oversight, and flexibility to ensure the best economic and community outcome in the short term i.e. keep businesses afloat and people employed,” Mr Entsch said.
“It is vital to the success of any recovery strategy that projects and initiatives are catalytic, fit for purpose and interconnected to guarantee the timely recovery of our region.
“RDATN has identified those projects that will drive regional economic recovery and job creation in the short, medium, and longer term.
“Supporting these priority sectors through enabling infrastructure sits naturally and builds on the Northern Australia agenda and existing government policy on water infrastructure, roads, resources, and education.
“Identified projects are evidence based and quantify the real benefit generated in extensive economic, environmental, and social advancements.”
RDATN Board Member and Mareeba Dimbulah Irrigation Area Chair Joe Moro said water infrastructure is vital to diversifying the economic base of the region.
“The opportunity to increase our agricultural production though additional water infrastructure, water security and reliable transport corridors is a natural evolution of our existing production base,” Mr Moro said.
“We are good at farming in the Mareeba Dimbulah region and we are starting to see a significant increase in agricultural companies looking to invest in our region.
“Water security is the key to this additional investment.”
Warren Entsch MP – Adam Davies 07 4051 2220
RDA Tropical North Chair, David Kempton – 0407 964 332