Australian Bureau of Statistics data has identified that the difference in the median search time for a job between Brisbane and regional Queensland areas was 10 weeks compared to up to a year in regional areas.
Continued long-term major investment in civil, tourist and community infrastructure must be key priorities for the State and Federal Governments.
The ‘catch 22’ for growth is both the State and Federal Governments generally require Councils like Livingstone to continually find dollar for dollar matching funding which is simply not sustainable.
Extraordinary levels of funding seem to be easier to find for southeast corner projects with Council’s and local communities not having the same requirements to find matching funding.
The argument is always that the population base is higher and the need is more pressing in the major population centres.
Unless greater investment is put into the regions the ‘sponge’ effect of the major centres soaking up the majority of available funding will continue and the gap in service delivery and investment attraction for the regions will continue to widen.
The level of funding needed to facilitate our region’s future growth and the attraction of job creating private investment in tourism, new business and diversified industry opportunities is beyond the capability of most Councils to find matching funding.
A rethink of strategies and funding model formulas is definitely needed, particularly for the development of northern Australia which is the area that we are a significant part of.
If a fairer methodology is not put in place, critical infrastructure projects will not be able to proceed due to the pressure and debt burden it will put on regional Councils and their ratepayers.
Regional voters are now becoming more discerning and judging Governments on merit rather than on which political party they have traditionally supported. This trend is a clear indicator that regional communities are now looking for and expecting the level of support for regions needing to grow and realise their full potential.