Hard-working Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, says she is looking forward to building on a strong 2017 to provide CQ with great opportunities in 2018.
Reflecting on the year past, Ms Landry remarked that the most challenging moments were perhaps her proudest.
“When you find your community really under the pump, that’s when you need to fire up and stand up for your people.
“I think we saw that with both the Wilmar Sugar and Shoalwater Bay disputes; regrettable situations that through consultation and by my advocacy, we were able to get positive results. We got a new Sugar Agreement signed and had compulsory acquisitions taken off the table for Marlborough graziers. Results I perhaps don’t get much credit for but that I am proud to have taken the fight up on behalf of CQ farmers and graziers.
“Every time I visit the City reaches of the Fitzroy, I am shocked by how great the new riverbank development looks, and the change it is making for the businesses in the CBD. There is more to do to get Rocky’s economy rolling, but I think the federal government’s $7 million was money very well spent and it ties in well with the money we have spent in other centres, like on the Yeppoon Foreshore project,” Ms Landry said.
“It is these investments in our regional communities that is so important, so the regions that create so much of the wealth of this nation get to see some of the benefit of that economic strength.
“Connectivity continues to improve, with the federal government’s Mobile Blackspot Programme rolling out across the country.
“We have already seen a number of new base stations built in Capricornia, including one a Mount Chalmers late last year.
These towers are making a huge difference to those who live and travel near them, increasing safety and opportunity.
Ms Landry said while 2017 was challenging and rewarding, she was particularly looking forward to delivering for Capricornia through 2018.
“2018 is full of opportunity for Central Queensland, we are seeing very strong commodity prices promising to provide the basis for a strong economic year.
“Cows, cotton, and coal are all still very strong – and let’s not forget our coastal produce of sugar, fruit, and especially pineapples – I’m sure with good summer rains our rural communities will continue to see the benefits of these perennial industries.
“Since November, the NDIS has been rolling out in CQ, providing far greater freedom and opportunity for some of the most marginalised in our community. The NDIS will see an enormous increase in both the services available to customers but also in the investment government will make in them; this means more jobs.
“Health and Allied Services is already the region’s largest employer and thanks to the Coalition Government’s commitment to fully-fund the NDIS, this sector is set to grow.
“Of course while on the subject of employment, one cannot ignore the elephant in the infrastructure room; Rookwood Weir.
“Queensland Cabinet meets for the first time since the election on 22 January and I for one, will be most interested to see what their deliberation will be on this vital project for Central Queensland.
“To have gone through so much to deliver $130 million toward the construction and have it delayed by game-playing and study-hiding has certainly been very frustrating and I just hope the state cabinet makes the right decision for CQ.” Ms Landry said.
Ms Landry said she couldn’t wait to, “get stuck in” to the work at hand and that she believed Central Queensland had a good one ahead of it.