Northern Qld shows lots of promise, says institute chief

DROUGHT and the mining downturn might be dogging Rockhampton at the moment, but the Regional Australia Institute chief is predicting change.

At the Regional Queensland Showcase in Brisbane on the weekend Su McCluskey said she saw a lot of promise in northern Australia, from Rockhampton and Mackay upward.

"The thing is though, regions go up and down and the more diverse regions can become, the better ability they will have to weather those shocks," she said.

"A lot of those regions are experiencing those shocks because of that mining downturn.

"Mining will always go up and down; agriculture will always go up and down."

Ms McCluskey said she was looking forward to the Northern Australia White Paper coming out soon.

The government document is aimed at setting out a platform to realise northern Australia's full economic potential, including a plan for implementing the policies over the next two, five, 10 and 20 years.

The showcase was held to highlight what regional areas offer in terms of work, lifestyle, education and investment.

Ms McCluskey said she often saw 25-44 year olds and baby boomers looking to move out of the city.

"The regions are changing, people tend to think the regions are some quiet backwater; there are no jobs," she said.

"In fact Queensland is the most regional state of all.

"Most of the economic development and growth comes from regional Queensland."

The event featured special guests and exhibitors from across the state over the two days.


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