SINCE Government was formed at the end of August, there’s been steady work on the delivery of election commitments. I receive regular updates from relevant Ministers, and am working with project proponents to help where I can.
At the Wet Tropics Management Authority Ministerial Forum on 25th November, the Queensland and Federal Governments agreed that WTMA should drive the $7.5 million Yellow Crazy Ant eradication activities. I’ve welcomed this key step as it means WTMA’s funding agreement can be negotiated and hopefully signed off by early 2017.
Also in November I hosted Defence officials in Cairns to meet with the Cairns Port Authority and the three shipyards who will share in $24 million to upgrade their facilities. This investment will help to boost the capacity of the existing shipyards so that Cairns can secure future maritime refit contracts, for both the Navy and commercial customers.
In Port Douglas, the contract negotiations for the much-needed water reservoir are in the final stages and I look forward to some good news in the New Year. I’ve also been working closely with the Run for the Reef and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef initiatives as their funding was critical to enable key time frames to be met.
On the $20 million Business, Jobs and Investment Package, I’m anticipating an announcement shortly regarding the appointment of the Local Planning Committee who will identify our regional priorities. Businesses and enterprises will be encouraged to apply for funding for new or expanded infrastructure, business innovation grants, or training and upskilling of staff – all of which will significantly benefit the region.
Other local projects, such as the COUCH Cancer Help & Wellness Centre, The Junction Clubhouse, Cooktown’s Social Enterprise Training Café, the Wangetti Trail Concept Plan, the Cairns Hockey and Cairns Basketball redevelopments and Cairns Innovation Centre, are working with the relevant departments.
I look forward to keeping you posted in 2017!