NEW MEMER: Grant Cassidy who has just been appointed to the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fitzroy Central West Board with Federal Member Michelle Landry
NEW MEMER: Grant Cassidy who has just been appointed to the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fitzroy Central West Board with Federal Member Michelle Landry Contributed

Creating jobs focus for new RDA member

CREATING jobs in Central Queensland is what Grant Cassidy says the region desperately needs.

And with his new position on the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fitzroy Central West Board the business man will be focusing on bringing new and old projects to life.

The board is an advisory body on regional investment and development to the Federal Government and takes in three federal electorates of Capricornia, Flynn and Maranoa.

Its range stretches from Yeppoon, Capricorn Coast, Rockhampton, Gladstone and west to Winton.

Mr Cassidy will be joining another new face Banana Shire (in Flynn electorate) Mayor Nev Ferrier.

Mr Cassidy says he is "thrilled” to be joining the Regional Development Australia Board.

"It's a very big region we've got and there's so many projects we want to be working on, and having federal government support for those will be critical in seeing the economy going ahead in the bigger region,” he said.

"Certainly there is already some great work being done by RDA so I'll be looking forward to seeing the projects that are currently on the table and in the pipeline but certainly looking for ones that are going to create jobs.

"Jobs is what we desperately need in the region and with the Federal Government support available, we need to be identifying those projects and working them really hard to try and get some funds.

Mr Cassidy said Singaporean exercises already generate $35 million into the regional economy.

He said up to 2021, the region will see some big increases in the numbers of Singapore military coming into the region, so obviously that expenditure's going to grow quite a lot.

"I think it is a very exciting time to be in Central Queensland.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said Mr Cassidy would be a valued asset to the RDA.

Both Ms Landry and Mr Cassidy say businesses in Rockhampton have much to gain from any future increase in Singapore troops visiting the city.

"We know that Singapore troops already account for a $35 million spend in the region when they visit every year on many things ranging from retail, tourism, hospitality, tourism, transportation and bulk wholesale,” Ms Landry said.

Mr Cassidy said this significant injection into the local economy is set to increase dramatically when Singapore doubles its troop numbers within the next five to 10 years.

"On top this is a huge retail spend by Singapore soldiers when they are on recreational leave at local shops and in local shopping centres. They spend millions of dollars on personal items like sunglasses and other goods,” Mr Cassidy said.

"There is also a significant spin off from associated service industries like airline pilots and flight staff, engineering and technology providers that come to Rockhampton, often in advance, after being engaged by Singapore to service their requirements.”

"Rockhampton should be embracing and relishing the opportunity for this to be extended when Singapore increases their training numbers in the long-term future,” Mr Cassidy said.



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