Regional Roadmap Executive Summary. Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday

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1 Regional Roadmap Executive Summary Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday

2 The region generates over $22b worth of economic value ( ) to the Queensland and Australian economy. (Queensland Treasury and Trade, 2013). The region covers an area of 90,000 sq km, with significant port infrastructure for export. The region delivers minerals, diverse agricultural products and tourism to the world through its world class natural resources, impressive built and natural environments and enviable location, with a direct gateway to Asia. Current population of 171,000 residents predicted to grow by 62% to 279,000 by (ABS, 2011) The Region s Gross Regional Product is $22b with a population of 171,000 people making it the highest GRP per capita in Queensland (GRP per capita $133,143) Brisbane GRP $129b (population 2,000,000) GRP per capita $64,500. Gold Coast GRP $25b (population 572,000) GRP per capita $43,706. Sunshine Coast Region GRP $12.6b (population 317,000) GRP per capita $39,747. Townsville and North West Region GRP $18.4b (population 260,048) GRP per capita $70,756. (Queensland Treasury and Trade, 2013). Gross Value Added of key industries in ($) in Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region: Mining $11.9b Construction $2.3b Transport, postal and warehousing $1b Manufacturing $967m Ownership of dwellings $728m Wholesale trade $719m Agriculture, forestry and fishing $600m Retail trade $514m (Queensland Treasury and Trade, 2013). Sources The region s economy is driven by: Bowen and Galilee Basins house the largest coal mining deposits in Australia and the majority of Queensland s prime coking coal reserves including the highest grade metallurgical coal in the world. A strong agribusiness sector, including one of the nation s largest sugar and bio commodity producers, one of the largest winter produce growing regions in Australia, and significant production of grain and beef. An expanding construction and development industry underpinned by accessible port facilities, rail and air infrastructure. World renowned tourism destinations including the 74 Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef with over 1.3 million visitors to the region, expending some $967m. (Tourism Research Australia, 2011). The region produces approximately 104 million tonnes of saleable coal per year, and in 2011/12 exported 96.5 million tonnes via our ports. (Dept Natural Resources and Mines, and NQBP). In 2012, the region crushed 8.4 million tonnes of sugar cane and produced 1.2 million tonnes of sugar. Some 382,000 tonnes of raw sugar and 299,000 tonnes of refined sugar were exported via Mackay City Port. (Mackay Canegrowers and NQBP). The region produced 368,000 tonnes of grain and $332m of beef. (ABS , Nov 2012) Approximately 1.2 billion litres of fuel is transported by road from the City of Mackay Port to the mining areas of the Bowen and Galilee Basins. The Queensland Treasury and Trade (2013) population study estimates that there were 18,000 non-resident persons residing in the region in 2012 primarily due to FIFO activity. Queensland Treasury and Trade March 2013, Experimental Estimates of Gross Regional Product , and Queensland Treasury and Trade. Office of Economic and Statistical Research Queensland Regional Profile, Northern Qld Super Zone. Queensland Transport and Main Roads, October Bruce Highway Action Plan. North Queensland Road Alliance, February Economic Impact for North Qld of Closure of the Bruce Highway. Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident population, ABS Cat No Regional Population Growth, Australian Government. Australian Government, 2010/11 Regional Tourism Profiles, Tourism Research Australia, Canberra. Australian Government, International Visitor Survey (IVS) and National Visitor Survey (NVS), Tourism Research Australia Year Ended June Canberra. North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation Limited, Export and Import Estimates accessed from website August Australian Bureau of Statistics Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (cat. No. 7503) Australian Government. Northern Queensland Road Alliance, February Economic Impact for North Queensland of Closure of the Bruce Highway. Road Accident Action Group Inc, May Road Safety Action Plan for the Peak Downs Highway Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia, February The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

3 MACKAY ISAAC WHITSUNDAY REGIONAL PRIORITIES Priority One Progress national road infrastructure: Bruce Highway Bruce Highway Flood Proofing, road maintenance and upgrading to cope with population and industry growth in the region. Sandy Gully section Goorganga Plains Sarina to Mackay Proserpine to Ayr Mackay Ring Road Mackay Ring Road First stage of Planning Study is underway to determine the route and total cost of the project. Finalisation of budget commitments from the State and Federal Government. The Bruce Highway is Queensland s major arterial road from Brisbane to Cape Tribulation. It provides supply chain access to mining, tourism, construction and agriculture. Flooding on this road has meant isolation for communities, food shortages and productivity losses at a considerable cost to business and industry sectors. The Mackay Ring Road will link the north and the south parts of Mackay to improve connection and safety for traffic serving the industrial areas, harbour and airport facilities. Priority Two Invest in regional roads Peak Downs Highway Adequate funding to ensure the safety and efficiency of this route west from Mackay to Bowen Basin. The road services over sized mining vehicles, residents, agriculture workers. Galilee and Bowen Basin Connecting Roads Alpha-Clermont Road Bowen Development Road Development and sealing the road that links Clermont and Alpha, and links the Galilee and Bowen Basin mining communities. Belyando Estate Bridge Access for Moranbah affordable housing opportunities. The election commitment of $120m for safety upgrades needs to be actioned. There is an additional need for all levels of Government to commit ongoing funds to ensure this crucial transport infrastructure is developed. Critical mining roads to the Bowen and Galilee Basin which during the wet season, become impassable and during the dry season causes vehicle damage. There is currently 80 km of unsealed road on the Alpha-Clermont Road. Approximately $20m is required to enable this project. Significant investment is required to increase the safety standard for the mining industry, tourists, farmers and residents, including flood-proofing and urgent upgrades to cater for the significant increase in traffic. The Sarina to Mackay and the Proserpine to Ayr sections of the Bruce Highway were both identified in the top 15 riskiest stretches of the national highway network (RACQ, 2012). A 24 hour closure results in at least $5m loses to the economy. The Bruce Highway in our region alone can be closed for at least 200 hours in a year. (Northern Qld Road Alliance AEC report, 2012) The Mackay Ring Road will provide heavy highway transport carrying bulk sugar, fuel and mining supplies from the port to the central Queensland mining communities. This will alleviate safety issues on the Nebo Road section of the Bruce Highway which runs through one of Mackay s inner suburbs which has had several heavy vehicle crashes. Significant safety issue with many fatalities along this road involving heavy vehicles. Over the past 10 years, 24 fatal crashes and over 230 serious injuries (Road Accident Action Group, May 2012). Note: there are 12,000 vehicles per day on Peak Downs Highway and 900 minor coaches per month (RAAG, 2012) Sealing the road will deliver significant economic benefit to the region and link Galilee to the mining hub of Mackay. It will create an inland freight transport route. It will also provide a vital North/South link when the Bruce Highway is closed plus it links outback tourism with SA and NSW and connects inland Queensland to the Whitsunday Coast. The bridge will provide access to a major residential area within mining communities around Moranbah. The road floods and so bridge infrastructure is required to enable access. RDA s Role:. Work with Federal, State and Local Government to progress priority road infrastructure to avoid transport congestion, safety issues and increase productivity of the region. Encourage Federal and State Government to provide vital funding for these infrastructure projects. Enhance the liveability of the regional by promoting the social, economic and environmental values of our communities. Priority Three Create a long term infrastructure plan Long term infrastructure plan Planning to include a holistic approach to regional development including: roads and transport connectivity; water and waste; energy; telecommunications; ports; rail; and social infrastructure Future planning and funding for the growing communities to support significant growth in mining, agriculture, tourism and construction. Infrastructure planning based on more than population numbers but is cognisant of GRP and contribution to national economy, and return on investment. Lack of sufficient infrastructure hampers growth and adversely impacts on affordability issues in the region such as housing, transport logistics, and higher energy costs. RDA s Role: Advocate for an infrastructure plan that aligns to the Northern Qld Strategy infrastructure and Central Qld infrastructure needs. Work with Local Governments and private sector to advocate to State Government, Federal Government and Infrastructure Australia for well planned and funded infrastructure. Priority Four Develop the region s social infrastructure Social infrastructure plan To ensure the equitable access and distribution of health, community services and community wellbeing initiatives across the region. Develop social infrastructure plan for the region. Map health, community services and infrastructure to identify gaps, duplication and opportunities The region has one of the lowest numbers of doctors per capita in regional Queensland. More health services and social wellbeing infrastructure is required. (House of Reps Standing Committee on Regional Australia report, February 2013). Investment in health infrastructure will prevent long term health issues in the region, provide for equitable services to regional communities and assist in the retention and attraction of families to the region. RDAs role: Progress a social wellbeing agenda for the region by advocating for the mapping of health and community services across the region. Advocate for a more equitable distribution of health and community services in regional Australia (inclusive of FIFO populations). Priority Five Enhance the accessibility and affordability of energy and water supplies Northern Qld Energy Strategy Regional Water Strategy Water and Sewerage Funding Work across Northern Qld to develop a North Queensland Energy Plan. Support alternative energy solutions such as Mackay Co-Gen Plant. Advocate for base load generation in region and acknowledge the importance of Collinsville power station. Develop a regional water strategy (Regional Water Supply and Demand Study). Well planned and funded water and sewerage supply to cater for growing populations. Reduce the risk of GRP and GDP decreasing due to lack of well planned water and energy supply for communities and industries. Northern Queensland energy supply that is competitively priced and encourages industry to expand and establish in the region, and results in nation building activities. Smarter water and energy solutions to reduce environmental harm and capacity issues. Support alternative energy solutions. RDA role: Work with peak bodies and Local Government to understand the energy and water issues in the region and advocate for further funding and research to find long term sustainable solutions that benefit the Australian and regional economy.

4 Priority Six Develop the port infrastructure Expansion of Ports: City of Mackay Port Abbot Point Port Precinct Create Agriculture Distribution Hub Developing the region s port facilities will provide significant capacity for increased coal exports, potential new trades eg. alumina production and export, mineral processing and bulk minerals export, as well as agricultural and beef exports. Develop the capacity of the ports through containerisation. There is also a need to connect the ports strategy to the road and rail infrastructure capacity. Creating opportunities for greater export and import and to increase the economic diversity of the region, for example, break bulk cargo, and beef and agriculture export. Align initiatives with Federal Government Asian Century paper and increase export opportunities to Asia. RDA s Role: Work with key stakeholders to promote the issues and encourage a ports strategy that is aligned to the road infrastructure planning and capacity. Advocate for sustainable development and enhanced economic growth. Priority Seven Increase telecommunication services NBN access across the region Mobile phone access across the region. Poor mobile phone access in rural communities causes serious safety issues for the residents, mining industry and agricultural industries. Many locations across the Bruce Highway and major regional roads do not have telecommunication services. Review of the NBN roll-out and access to greater services where mining community camps have significant FIFO populations. Telecommunication upgrades will provide greater community safety outcomes. NBN and fibre roll-out should benefit mining communities and FIFO worker numbers should be counted in the benchmark for fibre roll-out. RDA s Role: Advocate to State and Federal Government about the lack of telecommunication infrastructure in the region particularly safety issues in rural communities. Advocate for greater liveability in rural communities. Priority Eight Progress regional education and training opportunities Strengthen the University precinct Central Queensland Workforce Development Strategy Central Queensland University and TAFE are proposing a dual sector merger providing a seamless transition from TAFE to university. The university is positioning itself as a community hub and vibrant education facility for the region. Further sporting and community facilities within the university precinct will attract and retain students and families to the region. Development of Central Queensland Workforce Development Strategy. The seamless transition from TAFE to university will provide an effective skills pathway for industry. Understanding current and future workforce needs across central Qld. Community and education facilities that enable innovation, strengthened and connected regional communities. RDA s Role: Work with regional universities to advocate to the Government about the importance of regional universities for innovative and sustainable region. Work with State and Federal Government to progress a Central Qld Workforce Development Strategy. Priority Nine Develop a regional aviation master plan Regional aviation strategy and master plans Develop regional aviation strategies to allow for greater connectivity for our communities, increase tourism, improve mining worker access, and increased export opportunities to Asia Expansion of Whitsunday Coast Airport runway to allow for international flights to increase tourism opportunities and agriculture exports to domestic and international markets. Enable Mackay Airport to continue to develop and improve efficiencies through red and green tape reduction strategies, and protection of air space. Greater connectivity for our regional communities, increased tourism numbers to the region, access for FIFO workers to the region, greater agriculture and aquaculture export opportunities to Asian and beyond. Align with federal government Asian Century paper. Note: Whitsunday and Mackay airports have State significance. RDA s Role: Work with Whitsunday Regional Organisation of Councils and peak bodies to identify aviation issues and promote regional solutions to State and Federal Government. Advocate for an aviation strategy that has sustainable economic, environmental and social outcomes for our community. Priority Ten Enhance the safety and efficiency of the regional rail network Develop a regional rail network to assist in industry expansions and more efficient fuel transport solutions. Industries to benefit include: Resource sector Agriculture Tourism - Passengers Build capacity of local rail stations to load freight (agriculture) and ease congestion on regional roads and increase speed of product to market. Approximately, 1.2 billion litres of fuel is transported from Mackay City Port to mining communities. Investigate options to secure a transport corridor for fuel to be transported more efficiently to mining communities. Increased safety and productivity at rail crossings One rail network for mining activities Build capacity of agriculture sector Improved safety of fuel transport, from roads to rail or pipeline. Decrease impact on the roads, decrease congestion on roads to mining communities RDAs role: Work with Federal and State Governments to ensure one rail system in mining area. Advocate for safer rail crossings overpasses to avoid safety and productivity issues. Advocate for innovative and sustainable transport solutions.

5 Our long-term vision for Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is one of: Lifestyle, opportunity and prosperity... To achieve the vision Regional Development Australia Mackay Isaac Whitsunday has identified four strategic focus areas that will contribute to the sustainability and development of the region. Developing the region s infrastructure to enable prosperity Develop transportation infrastructure including roads, rail, and ports Improve connectivity through the advancement of the digital economy Develop mission-critical utilities like energy, water and sewerage Develop a long term infrastructure plan for prioritisation and sequencing of infrastructure Outcome: A modern and effective infrastructure system that enables business growth and investment, resulting in productivity gains to regional and national economies Vision Lifestyle Opportunity Prosperity Sustainable economic growth to provide opportunities for all our communities Enable industry diversification and support new and emerging industries Value adding to primary industries to enable sustainable and profitable rural communities Innovation through research and development tourism product development and investment in tourism enabling infrastructure such as airports Capitalising on the digital economy Capacity building through education and skilling, and workforce development strategies Investing in clean energy and biomass opportunities Creating and delivering on regional economic development strategies and investment attraction plans Outcome: A modern and effective infrastructure system that enables business growth and investment, resulting in productivity gainsto regional and national economies Protecting and valuing our region s natural assets Environmental resilience and adaptability of the landscape to cope with the changing climate and disaster Community partnerships for greater sustainability Holistic environmental planning and greater information about sustainability and resilience of our communities Innovative industries and creating robust rural communities Maintaining biodiversity, and sustainable water quality and quantity Outcome: The region s natural resources are managed to create a vibrant economy, sustainable industries and a healthy population Creating a lifestyle region with strong, connected, vibrant communities Social infrastructure to support growing communities Health and wellbeing initiatives for our growing communities and populations Creating an identity for the region through placemaking initiatives Liveability and affordability of the region Infrastructure and community services including more accessible public transport, and sport and recreational facilities Enabling education infrastructure and community hubs Outcome: Strong and connected communities where sufficient infrastructure provides health, wellbeing and lifestyle outcomes for our vibrant communities Partnerships and leadership To deliver on the regional vision RDA MIW will work across all levels of government, community and private sector to promote the needs of the region with a balanced consideration of social, environmental and economic outcomes. Through a partnerships approach the region will enable greater sustainability and realise the vision of Lifestyle Opportunity and Prosperity.

6 Regional Development Australia Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Inc. PO Box 1877, Mackay Qld 4740 T: E: Disclaimer: Whilst all efforts have been made to ensure the content of this publication is free from error, the Regional Development Australia Mackay-Isaac- Whitsunday does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information. Regional Development Australia Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday does not accept liability for any person, for any damage or loss whatsoever or howsoever caused in relation to that person taking act or (or not taking action as the case may be) in respect of any statement, information or advice given in this publication.

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