Greens Party convenor visits CQ to share high hopes for the region
TAKING part in Capricornia Enterprise's Political Leaders Series last week in Rockhampton, Queensland Greens convenor Andrew Bartlett was keen to learn about CQ's potential.
"It's a really good opportunity for myself and the Greens to hear from people locally about what they see as economic opportunities for the region,” Mr Bartlett said.
"I think there's a real need to make sure there's more diversification in the economy.
"The wider Capricorn region has a lot of opportunities beyond the traditional focus on coal mines and other resource industries and we would like to explore them.”
He said there were great education services in this region, great untapped tourism opportunities, potential to expand the digital economy, harness locally generated renewable energy and provide more social services and infrastructure.
"We also would like to see the coal and gas companies pay their fair share in regards to royalties, the rates Queensland currently charges is quite low by global standards,” he said.
"Those resources can be directly invested back into the regions on productive long term infrastructure.
Speaking about the stalled Great Keppel Island development, Mr Bartlett said it was important to ensure it had a solid business case and was done in a way that was sustainable, enhanced and promoted the local environment while involving the traditional owners.
Mr Bartlett said the Greens have people identified, including in CQ, who were ready to go in all 93 seats across the state for when the election is announced.
"The Greens do have a strong chance of breaking through in as many as three seats in the state election coming up and if we're in the next state parliament, we can play a key role in getting some of those issues on the agenda.
"Even though the seats we win might not be in Central Queensland, the fact that we'll be in the state parliament, we will give an extra avenue for people all around the state to be able to raise issues.
A Greens party spokesman said they would be campaigning on the need for greater investment in affordable housing, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and green spaces, rolling back Labor's privatisation of our electricity system so we can save people money on electricity bills, giving people more of a say in their neighbourhoods by rolling back the power of big developers, and getting corporate money out of politics.