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Opinion

1 October, 2021

The Premier’s State of the State

THIS week Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk outlined her vision for Queensland moving forward. In her address dubbed ‘State of the State’ the Premier presented a seven-point future plan for business as well as her government.

By Peter McCullagh

Being ‘trusted and reliable’ as a trading partner was her first key point. A focus upon renewables above the ground as well as the critical minerals we mine and export.

The north is resource rich, employing thousands and generating billions in export earnings. Our resource industry must be protected and assisted to become environmentally sustainable as well as continuing to be the economic powerhouse for our state.

To balance with a recognition of mining, the Premier is committed to the protection of the reef and our environment. This week Environment Minister Scanlon committed a further $3 million for the continuation of a water monitoring program designed to educate and change farming practices to protect the reef. Protecting our natural environment is critical, but we must always have a sustainable balance between development and conservation.

The Premier’s vision is for Queensland to be viewed as a world leader in research, professional services, and education.

Education is a priority for us here in the north. James Cook University is a leader in the Asia- Pacific and currently lacking the essential overseas students.

We need to have a solution for this issue. How can we be a world leader in education if the international students critical to achieving this, are not able to attend our universities?

“Affordable energy and affordable taxes” will always be a vote winner. Here in the north, we do not have many options when it comes to energy suppliers. We need competition here, more than one supplier, if this requires government intervention than step up to the plate Premier and get the job done.

A desire to have affordable energy should be broader than the southeast corner of the state, it applies to all Queenslanders regardless of where they live.

Tourism is another focus for the Premier. A desire to leverage our amazing stunning natural beauty and create a strong tourism industry.

Well key to that, is also allowing people from interstate to come and visit, without fear of a snap lock-down trapping them for extended periods of time or the lock-down terminating their plans. Who cares whether it’s 80 or 90 per cent, just get everyone on the same page, and make that page achievable and reasonable.

The final pillar was supporting the regions with “procurement and participation in supply chains”.

Perhaps it would be wise to advise the treasurer that there’s more than one newspaper group in the state, and multiple independent papers that see very little or nothing in the way of Queensland government advertising.

A seven-point plan and vision is important, but what we do need is a genuine state-wide commitment to improving the plight of individuals and businesses, not just a focus on the southeast corner of the state.

Peter McCullagh

Editor


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