Some areas in Queensland are set to receive the majority benefit of the resources boom, according to a state government announcement yesterday.
The Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone (MITEZ): 50 Year Freight Infrastructure Plan will boost economic activity within this region up to $84 billion annually within the next half a decade, Anthony Albanese, minister for infrastructure and transport, said.
This will be a six-fold increase. An initial contribution of $1.7 million was also announced to begin the coordination and implementation of the plan. The Mount Isa to Townsville area homes 250,000 people and covers 1,000km.
“I am also announcing today $1.5 million in funding to plan for growth further south in the State—the Central Queensland zone,” Mr Albanese recently stated in an opinion piece.
“This vast region covers one-third of Queensland, stretching from Gladstone to Mackay and to the Northern Territory and South Australian borders. It includes both the Galilee and Bowen Basins and the ports of Gladstone and Abbott Point.”
He pointed to the resources boom helping grow the region’s population by 200,000 over the next two decades. Queensland’s resource exports are predicted to more than double by 2025 (Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics).
“Such improvements to our infrastructure are necessary and timely. Better roads and rail links that improve the flow of freight to our cities, towns and ports are critical to improve the supply lines that our economic growth depends on.
“Above all, they will help create jobs and opportunities for regional Australians so that the benefits of the boom are shared by the many, not just the few,” he said.
The MITEZ interim report, February 2012, indicated that the 50-year plan would be the ‘prospectus’ and ‘policy guide’ for planning, infrastructure, industries and local communities.
This will also help guide housing development within the area.