Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has announced that a distinguished Rockhampton businessman has been appointed as a new local face on a federal advisory committee.
Hospitality businessman Grant Cassidy will be appointed to the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fitzroy Central West Board.
Mr Cassidy will be joined by a second new face, Nev Ferrier, the Mayor of Banana Shire in the electorate of Flynn.
The board is an advisory body on regional investment and development to the federal government and takes in three federal electorates of Capricornia, Flynn and Maranoa.
Its range stretches from Yeppoon, Capricorn Coast, Rockhampton, Gladstone and west to Winton.
“Grant is a highly respected business leader in Rockhampton and he will be a valued asset to the RDA,” Ms Landry said.
“I congratulate him and Neville Ferrier on their respective appointments.”
Meanwhile, both Ms Landry and Mr Cassidy say businesses in Rockhampton have much to gain from any future increase in Singapore troops visiting the city.
“We know that Singapore troops already account for a $35 million spend in the region when they visit every year on many things ranging from retail, tourism, hospitality, tourism, transportation and bulk wholesale,” Ms Landry said.
Mr Cassidy said this significant injection into the local economy is set to increase dramatically when Singapore doubles its troop numbers within the next five to 10 years.
Figures already show the annual joint Singapore-Australian Exercise Wallaby generates the following:
Civilian accommodation for defence personnel $2,450,000
Local airport and ports usage $2 million
Use of local contractors to provide a total logistics package for one calendar year – approximately $24 million-$30 million
“On top this is a huge retail spend by Singapore soldiers when they are on recreational leave at local shops and in local shopping centres. They spend millions of dollars on personal items like sunglasses and other goods,” Mr Cassidy said.
“There is also a significant spin off from associated service industries like airline pilots and flight staff, engineering and technology providers that come to Rockhampton, often in advance, after being engaged by Singapore to service their requirements.”
“Rockhampton should be embracing and relishing the opportunity for this to be extended when Singapore increases their training numbers in the long-term future,” Mr Cassidy said.