"BRING it on. We're raring to go."
That was Mayor Margaret Strelow's enthusiastic response to a government initiative that will direct immigrants and refugees to regional centres to ease population congestion in the south-east corner of Queensland.
The Courier Mail reported yesterday that the state and federal governments were discussing the development of a quota system that would see potential new residents living in a pre-determined city for a set period as part of their residency conditions.
Cr Strelow welcomed the proposal, confident that the Rockhampton region had the infrastructure and resources. It also sat well with her plan to grow the Rockhampton region's population by 10% in the next two years.
"We certainly can cope with this," she said.
"We have a proven track record of settling people from overseas and welcoming them into our community.
"I am particularly delighted that our name rolls so quickly off the tongue of the Premier when he is thinking of major regional cities."
Premier Newman said the governments would work with councils to consider ways to prioritise residency applications for people prepared to live in certain areas.