Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has urged all levels of government to get on with approvals for job creating projects after today’s announcement of 180 job losses in Rockhampton by Aurizon.
“The news today is a devastating loss for Rockhampton and I sincerely hope that the families will be able to find new jobs locally over the next 18 months,” Ms Landry said.
“As this announcement by Aurizon highlights, Capricornia cannot afford any further delays to vital job creating projects like Adani and Rookwood Weir.
“Combined, these projects will create at least 1400 jobs during the construction phase alone, with approximately 5000 long term employment opportunities,” she said.
Ms Landry said that a number of current opportunities would create real and meaningful long term employment in the region.
“They aren’t too far from being realised, but need the commitment and support of all levels of government,” she said.
“We have Rookwood Weir ready and waiting for State approval, with the federal Coalition Government already committed to funding 50% of the project. All it needs is for the State Government to get on board.
“We have Adani ready to announce local contracts for construction of the Carmichael Mine and Rockhampton is leading the battle to become a FIFO hub. These announcements have also been delayed by division in the State Government.”
Yesterday the Coalition Government opened the $30 Million Bowen Basin Jobs Package, with Capricornia one of ten regions nationally listed as part of the pilot Regional Jobs Investment Package. Funding is available for three streams, including an innovation stream for business and training opportunities to ensure our region has the right skills.
“The vision for the Rockhampton CBD can be realised through the $272 million Regional Growth Fund, with grants of $10 million or more for transformative projects that unlock the potential of regions and potentially spur new industries and jobs. This will be available later in the year and I hope to work with Rockhampton Regional Council to see Rockhampton projects put forward.
“The Turnbull Joyce Government has a strong structured decentralisation agenda and both Rockhampton and Livingstone have a strong appetite to see this happen, so I will be pushing this for Capricornia when reports are tabled in August.
“I hope that Aurizon and the State Government can follow our lead, and focus on setting up more offices in the Rockhampton CBD bringing meaningful jobs to Central Queensland.
“We have recently announced Regions 2030 and the Regional Australia Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by the Prime Minister, which will continue to consider policies that tackle the challenges facing regional Australia without the cookie-cutter approach.
“A strong and diverse economy will secure the livelihoods of Mums and Dads across the region.
“Our fortunes can be reversed, and our vision can be realised.
“The opportunities are staring us in the face – we need to get on, get them approved and get started building and creating jobs.”