Welcome, thanks for dropping by.
I am a proud and passionate North Queenslander, having spent most of my life in the north. My wife Lesley and I live in Ayr, 80km south of Townsville. My office is in Ayr and Townsville.
Given the vast size of my particular area as a Senator representing all of Queensland, I spend a lot of time travelling and listening to my constituents’ concerns.
My goal is to work with you, my colleagues and all other positively minded Australians for the betterment of our country, particularly that part of our nation in the north which, with only about 6% of the population, produces more than one-half of its export wealth.
Sugarcane growing and refining is one of many industries that feed into North Queensland’s powerhouse economy. Massive tonnages are railed or trucked to the coast for refining and/or export every year. My “back yard” includes the mighty North-West Minerals Province, home to Mount Isa Mines, Century Zinc and many other mining companies and the Bowen Basin coal and gas reserves.
The north is also home to world-leading Universities including James Cook University (JCU ) in Cairns and Townsville, and Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Darwin. The north also boasts the Australian Institute if Marine Science, has a number of highly regarded day and boarding schools, and provides innovative vocational training and development though the TecNQ model.
There are cutting-edge scientific research and development facilities such as CSIRO labs, and health research in the north is being pioneered at the Australian institute of Tropical health and Medicine (AITHM) based at JCU.
Other significant industries include tourism, bananas, small crops, commercial fishing, and of course defence.
Townsville is home to Lavarack Barracks and RAAF Base Garbutt, making the city Australia’s largest defence force city. 51RQR and HMAS Cairns are both headquartered in Cairns, and there are also strategically important defence facilities in Darwin. Following the arrival of the Army’s 3rd Battalion in 2011-12, Townsville’s defence community has grown to 15,500, or 10% of the city’s population. This brings the total defence presence in Northern Australia to almost 30,000.
Senator Ian Macdonald