Thuringowa hosting North and North West Regional Community Forum

Minister for Resources The Honourable Scott Stewart
  • The 2023-24 Queensland State Budget provides billions of dollars for the North and North West Queensland region
  • $1.3 billion invested into the Townsville Hospital and Health Service
  • $1.2 billion invested in Townsville infrastructure, supporting about 3,400 jobs

Economic diversification, workforce attraction and retention, education, training and employment pathways, and housing accessibility and affordability are among the priorities for the members of the North and North West Queensland Regional Community Forum who meet in Thuringowa on Monday.

Health services are a priority for the Palaszczuk Government, which is why $1.3 billion is in the 2023-24 State Budget for the Townsville Hospital and Health Service, and presentations to the forum members include HEALTHQ32, the Palaszczuk Government’s 10-year vision for the future of healthcare in Queensland, announced in May.

There will be a regional-specific update on the Queensland Vocational Education and Training (VET) Strategy, which is a key action under the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.

The forum includes a site visit to view progress of the Growing Migrant and Refugee Food and Beverage Business Program at TEQ-NQ House in Townsville, which equips students with recognised qualifications and career pathways.

Quote attributable to the North and North West Queensland Co-Chair, State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper:

“The forums have been a catalyst for the great developments we are achieving to support Queenslanders so I’d like to thank the forum members for their candid observations and insights.”

Quote attributable to the North and North West Queensland Co-Chair, State Member for Mundingburra Les Walker:

“Listening and working with communities throughout North and North West Queensland as part of these forums is important as there are different challenges and opportunities throughout the region.”

Quote attributable to the Minister for Resources Scott Stewart:

The Palaszczuk government is investing billions of dollars in the region and supporting the resources boom with the new Critical Minerals Strategy and CopperString 2032 so that communities throughout North West Queensland have greater income streams, employment options, and a brighter future.”

Quote attributable to North and North West Queensland Forum member Christy Guinea:

“The benefit that I get from being involved is that I get to see what’s going on in our communities, I get to have a voice at the table when we’re thinking about making decisions, and I see what’s happening in the bigger community picture.”

Investment in North and North West Queensland:

  • Approximately $800 million invested in renewable energy in North and North West Queensland supporting more than 900 construction jobs.
  • $594 million to start construction of CopperString 2032, with construction supporting about 800 jobs.
  • $75 million to establish Critical Minerals Zones around Mount Isa and Julia Creek and Richmond.
  • $75 million for the Queensland Resources Common User Facility at Townsville, Australia’s first critical minerals demonstration plant.
  • $718.2 million invested in Ayr Hospital, Normanton Hospital, Camooweal Primary Health Centre, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Townsville University Hospital, Burdell Ambulance Station, Kirwan Health Campus, Cloncurry Men’s Healing Shed, and Charters Towers Hospital

Success story:

Forum members have engaged with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to support, and assess the benefits of, the North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot. This initiative evaluates an expanded role for community pharmacists to increase high-quality primary health care for North Queensland communities.

Further Background:

  • The forum is co-chaired by the State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper, and the State Member for Mundingburra Les Walker.
  • The Minister for Resources Scott Stewart is also attending.
  • The North and North West Queensland Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state, with similar forums for Central Queensland, Darling Downs South West Queensland, Far North Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Western Queensland, and Wide Bay Burnett Fraser Coast.
  • The Regional Community Forums are supported by the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland.

/Public Release. View in full here.