ROCKHAMPTON business leaders say asylum seekers have a lot to offer the region's economy.
As the Federal Government faces a backlash against the passing of new asylum seeker laws, a Rockhampton Order of Australia Medal recipient said refugees offered solutions to rural demise.
Gerald Victor said it was important people recognised asylum seekers and refugees as people of worth.
"They have skills and talents and professions and they add value to the country," Mr Victor said.
"You ask a farmer if he can get labour and the answer will be no," he said.
"We have a skilled labour shortage and as far as regionalisation is concerned, it's a damn good thing.
"My thoughts are that we have a wonderful country and while we shouldn't open the floodgates, we should share it with everyone in the world."
But his enthusiasm came with a warning.
The businessman, who is also the chairman of Rockhampton and Environs Accessible Community Housing said it was important to remember refugees had often endured years of persecution and trauma and long waits behind barbed wire in detention.
Capricorn Enterprise's Mary Carroll said Rockhampton could always handle growth, but agreed increasing the refugee intake for regional Queensland had major social implications.