FNQ front and centre as state Cabinet touches down in Cairns


Karlie Brady


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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is today meeting with her Cabinet in Cairns. Image: Facebook.
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After two delays due to COVID-19, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has today brought her full Cabinet to Cairns.

The Far North will be front of mind when ministers convene over the next three days of meetings.

The Cabinet was originally scheduled to travel to Cairns in April, however, that was put on hold when COVID restrictions first came into place.

The rescheduled meeting had been due to take place last week, however, was delayed at the last minute as the government went to work to contain the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre COVID-19 outbreak.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s visit would focus on jobs and infrastructure for Far North Queensland as well as the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I understand that there are a lot of issues that you [Far North Queensland residents] want to talk to the Cabinet about. I understand that the Far North has been impacted by international tourism being stopped and, of course, you are a key priority for our government,” she said.

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“The Cabinet visit will be an important opportunity for Ministers to again hear and see first-hand how the region is recovering and to drill down on the opportunities that lie ahead to support this great part of our State to recover and thrive.

While in the region ministers will meet with local leaders and businesses to discuss Far Northern issues.

Mayor Michael Kerr will represent the Douglas Shire, meeting with the Minister Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and Minister Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Training and Skills Development as part of the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils. He will also meet with the Director-General of Tourism.

“We will be discussing COVID recovery for the area, and tourism projects such as the Sports Master Plan, Bike Paths, Safe swimming in the region, Micro Grid, and Water Supply,” he said.

State Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, said tourism will be high on the agenda at the Community Cabinet meeting in Cairns, as the Government plans the way forward through the pandemic.

“I know Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree, Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce are keen to meet with ministers during the week,” she said.

“The Cabinet visit is a great opportunity for Ministers to meet businesspeople and to see first-hand how well the Far North is recovering so far and what more the government can do to help.

“We need to build on our strong tourism base. I agree with the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, that we need to diversify our economy to strengthen our resilience in the Far North. The government has identified marine and higher education industries and the development of water infrastructure for agriculture as a way forward.

“I welcome our ministers to the region, and I hope the meetings with businesses will be fruitful both for the government and the community,” Ms Lui said.

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