The Future of Northern Australia

Tomorrow, Friday July 12, interested parties from the Mackay Region will have the chance to have their say on the Coalitions 2030 Vision for the Development of Northern Australia.

Senator Ian Macdonald, Opposition Spokesman for Northern and Remote Australia, said the Mackay forum was the third in a series of nine across Northern Australia.

Two weeks ago Tony Abbott released a paper on where the Coalition wants to see Northern Australia in 2030 and how we plan to get there so that we can ensure that Northern Australia finally gets the chance to develop to its full potential for the benefit of all Australians, Senator Macdonald said.

Our commitment is to consult with stakeholders across Northern Australia, to explain our vision and invite their input, and within 12 months of being elected should we win the election, to produce a fully costed White Paper on exactly how we will achieve our vision by 2030.

The Coalitions Vision Paper addresses the enormous opportunities and challenges for Northern Australia in the years ahead, and outlines a range of possible initiatives to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges.

Dawson MP George Christensen will co- host the Mackay Forum and said he was excited to be part of this Vision for Northern Australia and was determined to see Mackay involved.

"We believe that by 2030 Northern Australia could drive growth by: developing as a food bowl which could help to double Australias food output; increasing the number of international tourists to two million; building an energy export industry and encouraging advanced manufacturing and downstream processing; establishing medical centres of excellence; creating hubs for vocational and higher education campuses; growing Australias exports of technical skills in resources and agriculture," Mr Christensen said

We understand that money will be very tight, but we believe that government leadership, encouragement and stability will promote private sector investment, Senator Macdonald said.

The job for a Coalition government will be to create the right climate and environment to encourage the establishment of viable enterprises and new activities.

The Mackay forum will be held at the Mackay Grand Suites in Gregory Street on Friday July 12 from 10 am to noon.

Future forums will be held in Darwin on July 22, Kununnurra July 22, Broome July 23, Karratha July 24 and Hughenden July 26.

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