Expert Panel Formed to Help Shape Future of Townsville
An expert panel of Townsville business leaders has been formed to advise the Federal Government on projects which could be funded by the $195 million now available after the State Labor Government rejected the Stage 2 Haughton Pipeline funds.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said Townsville has a unique opportunity to invest in projects and infrastructure that will support and grow the region for generations to come.
“As our City looks to economic recovery following COVID shutdowns and the 2019 flood event, we must invest in projects that attract private investment, create jobs and grow our economy. It is vitally important that we get this right,” Mr Thompson said.
“I’ve had requests coming in thick and fast. While each one will be considered, this is not a blank cheque that’s there to be written for the pet projects of any individual or organisation. Ultimately, this is Townsville taxpayers’ money and that is not something I take lightly.
“The Community Projects Advisory Committee (CPAC) will guide the decision-making process by assessing and making recommendations about projects and where the money will be best spent.
“CPAC is made up of apolitical business and community leaders who have the experience, knowledge and passion for our city to ensure Townsville gets the best possible outcomes from the $195m in one, five, 10 and 20 years’ time.”
CPAC members include:
- Stephen Motti – Long-term business owner in the property, development and construction field
- Ross McLennan – CEO, Townsville Chamber of Commerce
- Debbie Rains – Business Owner / Immediate Past Chamber of Commerce President
- Michael Brennan – Chair, Townsville Business Development Centre / Councillor, Qld Law Society
- Carl Valentine – PVW Partners / Townsville Enterprise Economic Development Strategic Advisory Committee Member
When considering its recommendations, the CPAC will identify and evaluate opportunities that align with the City Deal objectives, draw on established project lists, canvass other potential opportunities and test and develop recommendations as to preferred options.
Townsville Chamber of Commerce CEO Ross McLennan said there are several factors the CPAC is considering when making its recommendations.
“In terms of guiding principles, projects must be supported by a sound business case, are achievable and deliverable in a timely manner and are catalytic in attracting private investment, jobs and growth,” he said.
Townsville business owner and former Townsville Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Rains said the principles of the CPAC align with the City Deal, which provides a commitment from all three levels of government to work together.
“It’s wonderful that we already have this pre-agreed framework in existence which will assist us to ensure the $195m will be spent in areas of most benefit to our city,” Ms Rains said.
Specific objectives outlined in the City Deal include to revitalise development, particularly in the City and Waterfront PDA, activate industry and export growth, support long term growth of local businesses, enhance livability and improve planning, co-ordination and governance.
Mr Thompson said the process will be transparent and he will provide the community with regular updates.
“The CPAC has started fortnightly meetings to begin the process of assessing projects and making recommendations,” Mr Thompson said.
“I will continue to update the community as things progress and ensure a transparent and robust process so that Townsville can have comfort in it and be assured our region is getting the best bang for its buck.”
CPAC has no statutory role.