Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King has affirmed the Albanese Government’s commitment to Northern Australia’s development and improved social outcomes for people in the north during her first visit to North Queensland as a minister.
In her first visit to Townsville as Minister for Northern Australia, Minister King met with business and community leaders and visited major projects including those being delivered with support of the government’s $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Among the projects is the major redevelopment of Townsville Airport, supported by a $50 million NAIF loan. The project is boosting the airport’s efficiency, access and amenities to ensure it is a modern gateway for tourism, students and exports to support and grow the regional economy.
“The Albanese Government is absolutely committed to development in Northern Australia and to increasing opportunities for people who live and work in this great part of Australia,” Minister King said.
“We are committed to working hard to support development, create jobs and economic security across Northern Australian communities.
“I was pleased to hear directly from community leaders on their collaborative and innovative approaches to sustainable development for economic and social parity across this diverse region.
“The north is home to more than 200,000 First Nations Australians. The Government has committed to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and I will ensure the Northern Australia portfolio plays a role in creating genuine and inclusive engagement through that process.
“Our Government’s commitment to the north is highlighted by the fact the full Cabinet met in Gladstone yesterday, reflecting the new government’s determination to ensure regional Australia remains at the heart of decisions being made for the good of all Australians.
“I am personally delighted to be appointed Minister for Northern Australia, and I will be a strong advocate for the north inside Cabinet and at the highest level of government.
“Australian Government investments in Northern Australia’s infrastructure will help keep pace with the growing needs of the community and industry.
“The redevelopment of Townsville Airport is a great project that will support many sectors of the north’s economy as the gateway to this vibrant region, including resources, tourism, agriculture and education.”
Minister King also visited the Port of Townsville, and James Cook University where NAIF funding has supported construction of new student accommodation and a new Technology Innovation Complex.
Background on Townsville projects supported by the Australian Government and the NAIF:
- Port of Townsville upgrades ($75 million in Australian Government funding under the Townsville City Deal)
- Townsville Airport redevelopment (NAIF support $50 million, total project $80 million)
- JCU Student Accommodation (NAIF support $46 million, total project $53 million)
- JCU Technology Innovation Complex (NAIF support $96 million, total project $174 million)
- Queensland Cowboys and Community Training and High Performance Centre (NAIF support $20 million, total project $35 million)
- Mater Hospital infrastructure (NAIF support $19.8 million, total project $19.8 million)
Pictured at Townsville Airport (left to right): Stephen Land (NAIF), Mark Darrough (NAIF Acting CEO), Brendan Cook (Townsville Airport), Townsville MP Scott Stewart and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King.