Recent News & Updates
A major economic and jobs boost for the North Queensland economy is on the way with the final sign off on a $20 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan to the North Queensland Cowboys for a new training and high-performance centre in Townsville.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the $20 million concessional NAIF loan was ready to reach financial close, meaning the Townsville club could draw on the funds from next week.
Minister Pitt said the NAIF finance meant the Cowboys and Townsville community would have world-class training and sports-medicine facilities which would attract athletes, teams and researchers to Australia’s tropical north.
A new resource corridor starting in Queensland’s north will be a focus of the Coalition Government’s $125 million expansion of the Exploring for the Future program.
Running for more than 2000 kilometres from the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria through Mount Isa and down the borders of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, the corridor has been identified by scientific experts at Geoscience Australia as one of two in Australia with high potential for new energy, minerals and groundwater resource discoveries.
The second corridor, which starts just south of Darwin and straddles the borders of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia finishing at the edge of the Great Australian Bight, will also be included in the expansion of the program.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has expressed his disgust at the possibility that Afghan soldier Hekmatullah, who murdered three Australian soldiers in 2012, may be released under a prisoner swap negotiated by the United States of America.
“This is a kick in the guts for every person who has put on the uniform, more-so for the families of those murdered by Hekmatullah,” Mr Thompson said.
“This terrorist was sentenced to death for the murder of three Australian soldiers who were serving their country, training the Afghan Army in 2012.
The heavy machinery has moved in and work is underway on a long-awaited driver education and motorsport precinct for Townsville.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said construction on Stage 1 of DriveIT NQ in Calcium was excellent news for the region.
“This is much-needed construction activity supporting 50 jobs at a time when our community really needs them,” Mr Thompson said.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson is calling on State Labor MP Scott Stewart to stop treating Townsville business owners like mugs and clarify his government’s plan if COVID-19 was to return to North Queensland.
Mr Stewart told the Townsville Bulletin that, “If an outbreak were to occur, more restrictions would be applied to that community to help contain the outbreak, not a blanket approach to Townsville or North Queensland.”
Mr Thompson said he was pleased to see the State Labor Government had backflipped and was moving towards a regional management zone style policy but too many details remained unclear.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson says the State Labor Government has put 700 jobs in jeopardy at a critical time by rejecting the Federal Government’s $195m funding for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline.
Mr Thompson said it was disappointing to see the incompetent State Members in Townsville continue to play silly buggers and put politics before people.
“At a time when so many in our community are desperate to put food on the table for their families, you have to ask why the State Labor MPs are playing with people’s lives and livelihoods,” Mr Thompson said.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has welcomed a positive step forward in the fight against homelessness among the veteran community.
Mr Thompson said he had been working closely with Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Minister Darren Chester to find solutions for former serving personnel who don’t have permanent suitable accommodation. One of these has been the latest move to strengthen the relationship between housing providers, DVA, ex-service organisations (ESOs) and Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling.
“It’s a national disgrace that veterans who have served our country in the armed forces would fall into homelessness which is why it’s so important that we act,” he said.
Army Veteran Paul Warren has been presented with a Prime Minister’s Veteran’s Employment Award in Townsville after COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the Canberra ceremony in May.
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson presented the Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Large award to the Rheinmetall Defence Australia Workforce Development & Veterans Program Manager this morning.
“This is a fantastic achievement for not just Rheinmetall Defence Australia but Paul himself as the manager of the Veteran Engagement Program,” Mr Thompson said.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has welcomed over $70,000 in funding to support local Australian Defence Force families.
Mr Thompson said the Cowboys were successful in applying for Defence’s Family Support Funding Program grant and would be using funds to deliver programs to school aged Defence children.
Our community, better than any other, understands the impact that Defence life can have on families.
Townsville’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) will have easier access to more funding as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said today’s announcement of the extension of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme would be a lifeline for many owners and operators.
“We know business owners are doing it incredibly tough right now as there is so much to do when it comes to moving out of hibernation, becoming COVID-safe and investing for the future,” Mr Thompson said.
A statement of intent for the future of primary health care for Magnetic Island has been welcomed by Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson following this afternoon’s community meeting, but the MP says there is still more work to be done.
Mr Thompson said news of negotiations between respected Townsville GP Dr Michael Clements and the owner of the Island’s private GP Practice, Latitude 19, was a positive step towards resolving a shortage of doctors.
“It is absolutely not good enough that the people of Magnetic Island have been suffering by not having the health care that they needed,” Mr Thompson said.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has welcomed the announcement that telehealth GP providers will be required to have an existing and continuous relationship with a patient in order to provide telehealth services.
Mr Thompson said this new requirement for Medicare-subsidised telehealth services was a key outcome that Townsville doctors who took part in last month’s GP forum had been advocating for.
“It’s very clear that the vast majority of Townsville GPs have embraced telehealth and the opportunities for improved primary healthcare it provides for our community,” Mr Thompson said, “but we need to make sure that we aren’t seeing call-centre clinics being set up outside our region.