- The 2023-24 State Budget provides billions of dollars for Central Queensland
- $2 billion on infrastructure estimated to support around 5,600 jobs
- $809.6 million for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
- $74.8 million to maintain, improve and upgrade schools
Regional infrastructure and service delivery, workforce attraction and retention, education, training and employment pathways, and housing affordability and accessibility are the priorities for the members of the Central Queensland Regional Community Forum who meet in Gladstone on Monday.
Health services are a priority for the Palaszczuk Government, which is why more than $809 million is in the 2023-24 State Budget for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health, 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.
Forum members will visit the Curtis Island APLNG Plant (Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas) for a tour of the natural gas operations including wells, compression stations, and processing plant.
An update on the application of hydrogen as a renewable energy will also be presented by Central Queensland University.
Quote attributable to the Central Queensland Chair, Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure Brittany Lauga:
“The forum members have been working hard to drive forward the Central Queensland Forum Action Plan and continue delivering on the priorities, and I’d like to thank them for their advice and insights.
“This forum is another opportunity to show the commitment of the Palaszczuk Government to Central Queenslanders.”
Quote attributable to the Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni:
“The forum is helping Central Queensland to remain the beating heart of our energy SuperGrid, powering the growth of the region’s factories, creating more jobs in more industries, and turbocharging exports, meaning local jobs stay, guaranteed.”
Quote attributable to the Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Minister for Water Glenn Butcher:
“The Palaszczuk government is investing billions of dollars in Central Queensland.
“The valuable advice of forum members is central to the development of businesses, the energy sector, health and hospitals, and employment opportunities.”
Quote attributable to Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs and COVID Economic Recovery Bart Mellish:
“The great work undertaken by the forum members is facilitating the development of workforce attraction and employment pathways, and supporting local businesses.
“The future of Central Queensland continues to be strengthened by the Forum members.”
Quote attributable to Central Queensland Regional Community Forum member Warren Hale:
“The Ministers, Members of Parliament, Department heads and government employees are all willing to listen and take on board our feedback and I can see this reflected in policies and programs announced over the past six months.”
Further investment in Central Queensland:
- $548.5 million to be spent in 2023-24 on Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline
- $500 million on renewable energy projects, around 4,000 construction jobs
- $26.2 million invested in the Blackwater Multi-Purpose Health Service facility
- $3.1 million invested in Rockhampton Hospital Mental Wellbeing Safe Haven
Central Queensland forum members developed the Business Ignite Program to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs. This has been supported by local governments and Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland groups across the region. Planning is continuing with government and industry stakeholders to expand delivery of the program across Central Queensland.
- The forum is co-chaired by the Assistant Minister for Health Brittany Lauga and the Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke.
- The Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni, the Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Minister for Water Glenn Butcher, and the Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs and COVID Economic Recovery Bart Mellish are also attending.
- The Central Queensland Regional Community Forum is one of seven to be held in regional centres across the state, with similar forums for Far North Queensland, North and North West Queensland, Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Western Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett Fraser Coast, and Darling Downs South West Queensland.
- This is the second meeting of the forum members in 2023, with two more Regional Community Forums scheduled throughout the year.
- The Regional Community Forums are supported by the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland.
For more information about the Regional Community Forums, visit Advancing Queensland’s Regions