FIVE QUEENSLAND peak industry groups have united to release a joint roadmap outlining how the next State Government can create jobs, drive growth and build confidence across key sectors of the economy.
The Driving Queensland’s Economic Growth State Election platform was developed and agreed upon by the peak representative bodies for broadacre primary producers, tourism businesses, the property industry, the resources sector and the timber industry.
These five industries directly employ almost half a million Queenslanders, and are responsible for feeding, powering, housing and showcasing the state — and AgForce, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, the Property Council, Queensland Resources Council and Timber Queensland are calling on the next State Government to:
- Improve environmental management in Queensland by simplifying environmental regulations, investing in good quality land management on both state and private land, and recognising the work industry does as land custodians;
- Build business confidence through innovation, investment and infrastructure, including by ensuring tax stability, cutting energy costs for all users, using infrastructure as an enabler of regional growth, and through skills development;
- Commit to fact-based policies by guaranteeing evidence-based planning decisions and a genuine regulatory impact process for all major legislative changes;
- Work with industry to identify, develop and implement solutions via a targeted Roundtable bringing together key industry and Ministerial representatives to develop a shared vision for the future, agreed solutions, and to track progress;
- Pursue a genuine regional agenda with investment in regional strategies, and a senior Minister for Regional Development to ensure Queensland maximises the benefits of the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility and that regional aspects of Government decisions are explicitly considered as part of the normal Cabinet process.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said: “The jobs of Queenslanders depend on a Government that works constructively with industry.
“Our combined industries employ hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders, particularly in regional communities across our vast state.
“What Queensland needs from its next Government is a commitment to policies that build our state’s foundation industries — including the resources sector – through a stable and consultative framework that encourages new investment.”
Property Council Queensland’s Executive Director, Chris Mountford, said the state’s property industry was seeking action from Queensland’s political leaders to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build confidence.
“There is significant room for improvement in Queensland’s regulatory and legislative framework to better support industry to attract new investment to Queensland,” he said.
“Whether it is tax arrangements, infrastructure investment or any other area of policy, Queensland can be a far more competitive destination to do business.
“Queensland’s shifting environmental regulation, in particular, provides little certainty for industry stakeholders and too often uses red tape as a substitute for evidence-based policy solutions. Greater collaboration with industry is needed to develop win-win environmental outcomes which benefit both Queensland’s ecology and economy.”
AgForce General President, Grant Maudsley, said demand for Queensland’s high-quality food and fibre was soaring, and the primary production sector needed political parties to commit to policies that take agriculture forward, not hold it back.
“We want fair and balanced policies that allow farmers to increase their productivity and profitability, as well as increased investment in infrastructure to make it safer, easier and cheaper to get our farm goods from the paddock to the plate,” he said.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind, said key priorities for the tourism industry included competitive investment of tourism marketing and event attraction and building the competitiveness of destination.
“Tourism needs the infrastructure and it needs the marketing, but it also needs an industry that has the capability, skills and capacity to drive innovation and create market-leading experiences,” he said.
Mr Gschwind said the tourism industry would also like to see government develop sustainable business opportunities through Queensland’s natural and cultural heritage.
Timber Queensland CEO, Mick Stephens, said the Queensland timber industry generated $3 billion in value each year and underpinned more than 25,000 jobs.
“Over 80 per cent of timber industry jobs are located outside the Brisbane area so it is therefore crucial that all parties recognise and support this industry for regional growth and prosperity,” he said.
“Policies need to address critical issues such as high energy costs and improve our timber manufacturing competitiveness.”
A copy of the Driving Queensland’s Economic Growth Joint Election platform is available at http://bit.ly/2hhWBeV