a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

AUSTR ALIA’S MOST GLOBAL REGIONAL CIT Y


FROM THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN The year of 2020 demands both vision and action from those at the forefront of growing our economy, across private enterprise and all levels of government. Business and industry leaders from a wide spectrum in tropical North Queensland have spent many months developing their vision. Pathway to Prosperity (released late in 2019) is a manifesto featuring catalytic infrastructure investments and policy reforms across eight infrastructure and eight policy areas. This Federal Budget submission is centred around those Pathway to Prosperity initiatives which have greatest importance at Federal level across sectors including health, roads, water security, education, marine maintenance, agriculture, tourism and arts and culture. The TNQ region has battled economic malaise dating back 12 years and its biggest industry in tourism is now being battered by the dual effects of bushfire publicity worldwide and more recently the global coronavirus crisis. With an economy heavily reliant on exports - headlined by the big two in tourism and agriculture - the tropical north is both at the doorstep of global opportunities and the mercy of the world’s vagaries. This complexity is highlighted by the huge growth in agricultural exports to the Asia Pacific from Australia and at the same time the devastating impacts on international tourism from COVID-19, the coronavirus which emanated from China.

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

This complexity can be made simpler by a regionally-wholistic, well defined and executed plan based on evidence across pivotal industries: • • • • • •

A plan which delivers better health care and world leading research into tropical disease A plan which ensures water security for both urban dwellers and the region’s innovative agricultural producers A plan which maximises Defence investment based around Queensland’s only operational Navy base, HMAS Cairns A plan where the physical arteries - in the form of our roads - are much enhanced as vital links across each and every sector A plan which sees renewed investment in aviation attraction; and A plan where our education sector flourishes today to nurture the talent of tomorrow.

These plans come together in Pathway to Prosperity and are showcased in this 2020 Federal Budget submission. But this multi-layered vision can only become a reality if the Commonwealth Government of the day steps up with the $1 billion dollar investment sought, plus embraces the courageous policy reform outlined in the document. With COVID-19 expected to wipe $6 billion off Australia's GDP in the first quarter of 2020, the time for action is now. NICK TROMPF Executive Chairman Advance Cairns

P2


VANCE AIRNS

EGION ONE VOICE

NORTH QUEENSLAND

CONTENTS

Briefing Papers Summary

Detailed Briefing Papers

4

Cairns Ring Road

National Highway A1

Cairns Marine Precinct

6 8 10

Dams and Water Security

12

Education and Research

14

Arts, Culture and Sport

16

Gulf Savannah Way

18

Cairns University Hospital

20

Pacific Engagement Strategy

22

Superyacht Chartering

24

26

Strategic Energy Sector Framework

Population and Migration Strategy

28

30

Cairns City Deal

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

BRUCE HIGHWAY, CAIRNS SOUTHERN ACCESS CORRIDOR STAGE 4: KATE STREET TO AUMULLER STREET PHOTO CREDIT: TMR ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P3


RECOMMENDED INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT

Cairns Ring Road

National Highway A1

$287.2 million

Cairns Marine Precinct

$10.5 million

$25 million (Stage 2) plus $100 million (Stage 3)

INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES 2020/21 Dams and Water Security $427 million

Arts, Culture and Sport $13.3 million

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

Education & Research Sector $35 million

Gulf Savannah Way $108.8 million

P4


RECOMMENDED POLICY REFORM

Cairns University Hospital

Pacific Engagement Strategy

$26.7 million recurrent

Establishment of an Office of the Pacific in Cairns

POLICY PRIORITIES 2020/21 Superyacht Chartering

Revisions to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012

Population and Migration Strategy $0.75 million

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

Strategic Energy Sector Investment Framework $0.75 million

Cairns City Deal

Tripartite signing of a Statement of Intent

P5


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS RING ROAD BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • It is anticipated that the National Highway A1 will be extended from Cairns to Smithfield, providing much better links between the CBD and the Cairns sea port, Cairns airport, the northern beaches and southern access route. • As Stage 1 of the Cairns Ring Road, Federal investment of $287.2 million has been committed, which has been matched by State investment of $71.8 million. • The Western Arterial section of Cairns Ring Road intersects with the northern point of National Highway A1 and urgently requires State funding of $365.5 million for essential upgrades as Stage 2 of the Cairns Ring Road. • When the Captain Cook Highway is flooded, the Western Arterial Road is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

THE ISSUE

Access to the Cairns airport and seaport from the north, south and west is adversely impacted by a highly inefficient road network, with all directions constrained by the need to travel directly through the Cairns CBD. There is significant traffic congestion on the Captain Cook Highway and along the Cairns Western Arterial Road, both of which lead from the northern beaches into the city, and this makes the transport of freight to, from and between the key port locations difficult. While there is significant potential to expand export activities for the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region, particularly to Asian markets, connectivity between ports is a critical enabling factor in the future development of Cairns as an export and service hub. The need to upgrade Captain Cook Highway to enhance connectivity was acknowledged by the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, who wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack on 19 September 2018 to request an extension of the national highway in Cairns during the 2018-2019 National Land Transport Network (NLTN) Determination Review. The extension will free-up State Government funding that would previously have been required for Captain Cook Highway upgrades. However, the State-owned Western Arterial section of the Cairns Ring Road carries 36,550 vehicles per day and is not included in the 2018 National Land Transport Network extension request. Upgrading this section is essential to connecting Cairns’

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

freight routes with the region’s premier agriculture producing areas (Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and Mossman), while also meeting demand for daily commuter traffic.

BACKGROUND

The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The National Highway A1 currently terminates in the Cairns CBD at the corners of Comport and Draper Streets, but the Federal Government is expected to deliver on its promise to extend the Highway to the intersection of Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways and Mount Milman Drive, Smithfield, north of Cairns, leading to a major upgrade of the Captain Cook Highway. However, the effectiveness and safety of the road transport network in and around Cairns will be adversely impacted until the Stateowned Cairns Western Arterial Road is also upgraded. The Cairns Arterial road network has been underfunded for many years in terms of capacity upgrades, with residential and industrial land development outpacing road project investments. In January 2019, Cairns Regional Council identified a number of underfunded State-owned roads and listed them as priority infrastructure projects for the region. The Cairns Western Arterial Road is a significant component of this list as the road is heavily congested on a daily basis and when the Captain Cook Highway is flooded during wet season or natural disaster, is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

P6


NEXT STEPS

Investment in key roads infrastructure is critical to ensuring sustained economic growth for the region, which will lead to greater diversity in incomes and job security.

The required infrastructure upgrades can be achieved through: • Creating Stage 2 of the Cairns Ring Road by upgrading the Bruce Highway and linking the northern-most part of the National Highway to the Cairns Port and Airport; • Upgrading three major intersections along the Western Arterial Road through a combination of overpass, traffic signal and slip lane projects; • Duplicating the full length of the road to increase traffic lanes from 1 to 2 in each direction;

Duplicating the Barron River Bridge at Kamerunga and the Redlynch overpass; and Constructing the McCoombe Street connection road between Ray Jones Drive and Mulgrave Road.

It is estimated that a $365.5 million investment is required to cover the cost of the Western Arterial Road upgrades. A combined State and Federal investment of $359 million has already been indicated in the Queensland Transport and Investment Road and Rail Program for Cairns Ring Road Stage 1. However, the funds have not been committed in the Capital Budget Statements and remain indicative only.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the Federal Government confirm in the forthcoming amendment of the National Land Transport Act 2014 its promised extension of the Highway A1 to the junction of the Kennedy and Captain Cook Highways at Smithfield.

That the Federal Government commit to commencement of capital funding of $287.2 million for Cairns Ring Road in the 2020 Budget, to be invested over three years to 2023-2024.

That the Queensland Government include capital funding of $437.3 million for the Cairns Ring Road and Cairns Western Arterial Road projects in the 2020 State Budget, to be invested over four years to 2023-2024.

That the Queensland Government fast-track detailed planning of the Cairns Western Arterial Road to ensure plan completion by December 2020.

While an initial investment of $12.5 million has been committed by the State over 3 years for detailed planning for the Cairns Western Arterial Road, the remaining $353 million is yet to be confirmed.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated total project cost $749m

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

Federal Investment

$50m

$100m

$137.2m

-

State Investment

$60m

$120m

$180m

$77.3m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P7


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, CASSOWARY COAST, HINCHINBROOK, TOWNSVILLE STATE ELECTORATE: BARRON RIVER, CAIRNS, MULGRAVE, HILL, HINCHINBROOK, TOWNSVILLE FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, HERBERT, KENNEDY

NATIONAL HIGHWAY A1 BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • TNQ’s road transport system is under pressure due to population growth, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which is the main distribution hub for the region. • The Bruce Highway is one of Australia’s highestrisk roads and in the 5 years to 2017, there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities on the stretch between Cairns and Townville. • The Kuranda Range Road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements. • While the Bruce Highway has seen unprecedented State and Federal investment since 2013, many future TNQ projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. It is essential these be brought forward to 2019-2023 to address critical congestion and safety issues. • A strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville is required, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road.

THE ISSUE

An integrated and efficient road transport network is critical for economic stability and growth in northern Australia. In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), the road network underpins the economy and is vital to the resident population of 278,080, ensuring accessibility to health, education and community services. Due to rapid population growth, TNQ’s road transport system faces increasing pressure, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which acts as the main distribution hub for the region. Meeting the growing demand for freight has strained existing infrastructure, impacting transport costs and service levels across the supply chain. The strain has been exacerbated by uneven population dispersion, the shared passenger transport task on TNQ roads, and resilience gaps in the road network which is frequently impacted by weather events. Via road, the city of Cairns is serviced by four main arterial roads, two of which are critical freight routes – the Bruce Highway and the Kennedy Highway.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns and Townsville, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The highway supports the transport of freight into and out of the region and currently ends in Cairns at the sea port.

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

The Kuranda Range Road (Kennedy Highway, Cairns/Mareeba section) links Smithfield with Kuranda and is the coastal gateway to Mareeba, Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Savannah. It is a critical link for commuter, commercial and visitor traffic in TNQ and a vital strategic corridor linking the Atherton Tableland, North Tropical Coast and Cape York to the Cairns Airport. Both the Bruce Highway and Kuranda Range Roads underpin the commercial viability of primary industries, producers and exporters in the region. However, both are operating at or near capacity with safety and traffic efficiency now at critical levels for action. While unprecedented State and Federal funding has been allocated for Bruce Highway upgrades between Cairns and Townsville, to maintain and grow TNQ’s competitiveness through improved productivity a number of catalytic projects are still needed. These include a strategic transport plan to deliver a transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road. This need is supported by the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, which recommends that the Department of Main Roads plan for and preserve transport corridors to construct bypass roads around Innisfail, Ingham, Cardwell and Tully, and plan for and construct the duplication of Kuranda Range Road. P8


BACKGROUND

Over the past decade, the Bruce Highway has consistently been rated one of Australia’s highest-risk roads. In 2016 the highway accounted for 48% of Queensland casualty crashes and more than half of the State’s fatalities. Nationally, this equates to more than 17% of fatalities on only 7.5% of the entire national network. On the 299 km section between Cairns and Townsville, which carries an estimated 17,250 vehicles per day, in the 5 years to 2017 there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities.

Infrastructure Plan, more than 10 years on this remains a critical infrastructure project but is yet to secure significant funding.

NEXT STEPS

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That through the Roads of Strategic Importance Fund, in 2020-2022 the Federal and Queensland Governments commit $21 million (shared 50:50) to undertake the Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements, preliminary evaluation and Business Case for Kuranda Range Road.

That through the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, the Federal and Queensland Governments bring forward their commitments to upgrade north Queensland sections of the National Highway A1 to 2019-2023, and commit to developing a strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville.

A number of significant investments have been announced that will continue to address safety and efficiency challenges on the TNQ road network. However, many of these projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. To address the critical congestion and safety issues faced on the road transport network, it is essential that the following key projects be brought forward and commenced in 2019-2023:

To address the significant safety issues, in 2013 the Federal Government introduced the $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, which has led to step-change investments in north Queensland sections of the highway. Together with the State Government, to date this has delivered: $595 million for Stages 1 to 4 of Cairns Southern Access upgrades with another $226 million committed for Stage 5; $20 million committed for Innisfail bypass planning and to improve flood immunity between Cardwell and Ingham; $48 million committed to plan for upgrades to the Cardwell Range; and another $63 million committed for Townsville Northern Access upgrades.

2. KURANDA RANGE ROAD: Commence development of the Cairns to Northern Tablelands access strategy ($1.25 million) with a view to completion by 2021.

In contrast to the Bruce Highway, the Kuranda Range Road has been the subject of multiple impact assessment and design studies dating back to 2000 but is yet to see significant investment. The road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements. And in the 10 years to August 2018, the Cairns to Mareeba section of Kennedy Highway experienced 493 unplanned closures with total closure time of 1,111 hours and an average close time per incident of 2 hours and 15 minutes. While the need to upgrade the road was identified in the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland

5. BRUCE HIGHWAY, TOWNSVILLE NORTHERN ACCESS INTERSECTIONS UPGRADE: Commence transport project planning ($72 million) with a view to completion by 2023.

1. K URANDA RANGE ROAD: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements ($1 million) and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case ($20 million) with a view to completion by 2021.

3. BRUCE HIGHWAY, INNISFAIL BYPASS: Continue to preserve the existing bypass corridor and commence transport project planning ($9 million) with a view to completion by 2022. 4. BRUCE HIGHWAY, INGHAM TO CARDWELL RANGE DEVIATION: Continue to preserve the existing transport corridor and commence transport project planning ($48 million) with a view to completion by 2023.

6. BRUCE HIGHWAY, CAIRNS TO TOWNSVILLE: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case with a view to completion by 2024.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $21m

2020-2021 Kuranda Range Road SASR

Kuranda Range Road Business Case

Federal Investment

$0.5m

$10m

State Investment

$0.5m

$10m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P9


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS MARINE PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Cairns Marine Precinct is a national defence asset that employs 4600 people. • A State policy commitment is sought to position Cairns as a Regional Maintenance Centre for the Royal Australian Navy. • With the HMAS Cairns expansion scheduled to start in 2023, a stage 2 Federal commitment is sought requiring two tranches of investment: (i) $25 million with $1 million to be allocated to a precinct-wide business case; and (ii) on completion of the business case, $100 million to support delivery of the recommended actions. • Commitment is also sought to secure the long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment programs for at least four Offshore Patrol Vessels in Cairns. • Investment complements the Queensland Superyacht Strategy 2018-2023 and the growing Defence requirements of Australia’s Step-up to the Pacific initiatives.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

THE ISSUE

The Cairns Port is a critical enabler of the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) economy, with the region welcoming the Federal Government’s commitment to base at least four new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) in Cairns over the next decade. The sustainment and maintenance of vessels in northern Australia aligns well with existing shipbuilding commitments in southern Australia, and complements the strategic objectives of Australia’s Step-Up to the Pacific foreign policy initiatives. As a national naval sustainment and maintenance hub, the Cairns Marine Precinct currently services vessels from HMAS Cairns, Darwin, the United States and the Pacific Islands. The significant Defence and Border Force contracts managed out of the precinct ensure a skilled, permanent marine and engineering workforce of 4600 people is retained year-round. The economic significance of the precinct is reflected in the shipbuilding and repairs sector specialisation ratio of 24.24 (Cairns LGA). In addition to servicing Australia’s Defence fleet, Cairns is home to a large and diverse marine sector with 1603 commercial vessels registered across tourism, fishing and shipping, and an active cruising yacht squadron. The precinct also plays host to superyachts and cruise liners visiting the Pacific.

To retain its vital workforce and meet the needs of this growing sector, Cairns requires additional marine maintenance and sustainment capability. This will enable the precinct to continue to service Defence, Border Force and industry needs while providing growth, jobs and a secure future for TNQ families. Under an existing $24 million Federal Government commitment, Stage 1 of a Cairns Marine Maintenance Precinct upgrade has delivered wharves, hardstands, slipway extension and service upgrades. A commitment of $125 million is now sought for Stages 2 and 3, which will lead to significant increases in precinct capacity and complement the Department of Defence $420 million commitment to expand the HMAS Cairns naval base. Stages 2 and 3 will also complement and support the Queensland Superyacht Strategy 2018-2023 and the Ports North Master Planning process.

BACKGROUND

The Cairns Marine Precinct has serviced the Defence, Border Force and marine industries for many years and as home to Fleet Base Pacific (HMAS Cairns), is one of the few ports in Australia that can offer the Department of Defence significant expansion opportunities in berth and land facilities. Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018) the Cairns port is a critical national

“ Cairns is a really strategic port for us… there’s a lot of consideration for major infrastructure in the port.”

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, Head of Maritime Systems, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment group (CASG), Pacific2019

P 10


OUR RECOMMENDATION infrastructure asset. It is the northern-most naval base on the eastern seaboard and plays a key strategic role in Australia’s northern naval capability. In acknowledging this role, in 2017-2018 the Federal Government committed to upgrading the precinct through staged investment. HMAS Cairns employs about 900 Navy and civilian personnel, and provides administrative, logistic and maintenance support to nine homeported vessels, consisting of one Armidale Class patrol boat, two Cape Class patrol boats, two Leeuwin Class hydrographic survey ships and four Paluma Class survey motor launches. Cairns also provides support for Pacific Class patrol boats operated by neighbouring Pacific nations. To develop additional wharf space and support infrastructure within HMAS Cairns, the Federal Government has pledged $420 million through the Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-Program to support the delivery and home porting of the Arafura Class OPVs. $300 million will be invested in initial upgrades to construct new facilities at HMAS Cairns, with works to commence early 2023 and be completed by 2025. It has been calculated that for every dollar spent on Defence in Cairns, the multiplier effect equates to over $5 in other sectors of the economy. A Defence investment of $420 million will therefore have an impact of $2 billion on the TNQ economy.

NEXT STEPS

That the Department of Defence delivers on the initial $300 million upgrade of HMAS Cairns by 2025, with the remaining $120 million to be invested by 2026 to support the home porting of at least four, and preferably six, Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), including associated sustainment and maintenance work.

That to further develop the Cairns Marine Precinct, the Federal Government commits $125 million for stages 2 and 3 of the precinct, delivering a strategic national Defence asset that meets the security needs of Australia in the Pacific region.

That the Federal Government commits to a long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment industry for Defence and Border Force vessels in Cairns.

That the Queensland Government adopts and promotes a policy position strongly supporting Cairns as a Regional Maintenance Centre for the Royal Australian Navy.

That through the Ports North Master Planning process, the Queensland Government delivers a strategic roadmap for Cairns that caters for the long-term needs of Defence and industry.

In November 2019, the Maritime Systems Division announced Cairns as one of three Regional Maintenance Centres for the Australian Navy, with the other two locations being Perth and Darwin. Federal commitment is now sought to secure the long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment programs in Cairns for OPVs, Pacific Patrol Boats, Armidale Class Patrol Boats and Custom Cape Class Patrol Boats to complement existing contracts for Hydrographic Survey Vessels and Survey Motor Launches. This commitment will: • Leverage the Cairns Marine Precinct’s current capability, ensuring value for money for the State and Federal Governments • Support job creation and economic growth for TNQ • Offer a continuous Naval patrol boat sustainment solution • Provide industry continuity and sustain marine capability to service Step up to the Pacific project initiatives from Cairns • Support ongoing innovation and development of marine industry expertise in northern Australia In addition, to ensure that Cairns Marine Precinct infrastructure meets the future needs of Defence and industry, Federal investment is sought for Stages 2 and 3 of the precinct upgrade. Stage 2 requires $25 million, with $24 million to be shared across each of the three slipways in 2020 and $1 million to be invested in developing a precinct-wide business case. Stage 3 requires $100 million to support delivery of the recommended actions.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $545m Stage 2 and 3 Investments Defence Investment

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

2024-2025

2025-2026

$25m

$100m

-

-

-

-

-

-

$100m

$100m

$100m

$120m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 11


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, ETHERIDGE, COOK, TABLELANDS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, HILL, TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

DAMS AND WATER SECURITY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The ability to supply

increased demand for fresh Australian food from North Queensland is at risk due to a lack of long term water implementation strategy

• To cater for growing demand fresh foods, five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: Nullinga Dam, North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme, Lakeland Irrigation Area Project, Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and Tablelands Irrigation Project. • All five projects require bilateral commitment and shared investment (split 50:50) to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to construction stage. • In 2020-2021, a $7 million investment is required to progress the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme business case. • Nullinga Dam is the most advanced project and requires bilateral investment of $854 million to unlock additional agricultural production worth more than $200 million per annum while supporting the growing urban water needs of the region.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

THE ISSUE

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has seen sustained population growth during the past 30 years underpinned by expansion of industries including agriculture, tourism, fisheries, education, health and retail. At the forefront of agricultural growth has been the Atherton Tablelands, driven by the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme (MDWSS) with rapid expansion in high value crops such as avocados, bananas, berries and sugarcane. Water is now 100% allocated and 80% used, with purchase prices rising more than threefold since 2011, peaking at $4000ML. To address high prices and supply issues on the Tablelands, a short term and long term implement strategy needs to be agreed and acted upon. The short term strategy requires efficiency improvement in the current MDWSS and the construction of the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme. These projects need to be fast-tracked to construction. During 2019 the proposed long –term solution for the region, Nullinga Dam was shelved as not meeting the current economic criteria. We believed that the detailed business case did not include all the relevant information. This needs to be re-assessed as it is the only long term solution for the region to meet the projected long term growth for water in the region. In addition, agriculture in areas such as the District of Lakeland and Etheridge Shire have potential to expand rapidly with high value crops such as bananas, grains, cotton and watermelons proving feasible. Water security has been a concern for a number of years and is now limiting supply in both regions. Agricultural exports are vital to Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) with the industry

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

sector output currently valued at $2.8 billion, constrained mainly by factors such as irrigation and access to market. Recent trade deals secured with China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia present new market access opportunities, with Cairns International Airport providing direct air access to these markets from northern Australia where agricultural exports underpin sustainable tourism flights. Urban demand also continues to increase with Cairns’ population growth averaging 1.4% per annum. Combined with an estimated three million tourists visiting TNQ annually, to ensure the growing needs of the region can be met an effective and multifaceted water supply strategy is required. Five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: •

Nullinga Dam

North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme

Lakeland Irrigation Area Project

Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme

Tablelands Irrigation Project

BACKGROUND

On the back of record drought periods in Australia, water security and food security have become priority national policy issues, leading to controversial decisions around water allocations and infrastructure. In recognition of this, in 2019 the Federal Government expanded the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund by $500 million to more than $1 billion, adding to the existing $2 billion for the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program. In strengthening the role of northern Australia as a food bowl, substantial feasibility work has progressed in the past three years to explore new agricultural development opportunities. P 12


With many of these studies now coming to a close, there are clear priorities for progressing environmental impact and construction activities and a coordinated approach to development is required.

water from the Gilbert Catchment general reserve and facilitate construction of an irrigation scheme along the Gilbert River, distributing water to an estimated 30,000ha of irrigable land.

NULLINGA DAM AND NORTH JOHNSTONE RIVER DIVERSION SCHEME: The Queensland Government, through Building Queensland, has released a detailed business case showing costs for a 74,000ML stand-alone dam at $1.068 billion. The project will require shared State and Federal investment of $854 million on top of industry contributions of $213 million (based on $2900ML price).

A detailed business case funded by the State Government’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program is currently under way and due for completion in March 2020. Preliminary modelling suggests the scheme is economically feasible, and that the area is suited to a range of irrigated crops including grains, pulses and cotton.

A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries study showed agricultural output on the Tablelands grew 30% in four years to $552 million. Nullinga Dam would unlock additional agricultural production worth around $200 million per annum. The Queensland ALP Government has announced it would ‘protect’ the proposed dam site but would investigate alternative water supply solutions such as the North Johnstone River diversion scheme in preference to Nullinga Dam. The diversion scheme is considered a viable short-term option to stimulate the economy, delivering up to 50,000 ML with a lower capital cost, and a $7 million investment for a full business case is sought to progress this project. However, longer-term Nullinga Dam will also be required to service the growing agricultural and urban water supply needs of the region.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the Federal and State Governments commit to invest $854 million as a 50:50 contribution to the construction of Nullinga Dam with $10 million of Federal funds going towards an environmental impact statement in 2019-2020.

That in 2019-2020 the Queensland Government invest $7 million through SunWater to progress the full business case for the North Johnstone River diversion scheme.

That, subject to completion of the business cases, the Queensland Government works with the Federal Government to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the Lakeland Irrigation Area Project and the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme.

That in 2021-2022 the Federal Government invest $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress the Tablelands Irrigation Project.

TABLELANDS IRRIGATION PROJECT: The prefeasibility of the Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation Project has been completed and indicates a detailed business case would cost $2.2 million, with an additional $5 million required for an environmental impact study. The Tableland Regional Council is seeking an investment of $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress this project. The proposed Woodleigh Dam includes a 35,000ML capacity and 98.5% water reliability, and the project would facilitate a land use transition from predominantly beef cattle to higher value crops. The dam will also provide hydro power benefits, irrigating 4,200 hectares.

NEXT STEPS

LAKELAND IRRIGATION AREA PROJECT: Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS, through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF), funded a strategic business case that investigates new water storage options to expand the Lakeland irrigation area. When constructed, the proposed dam will store 200,000ML and irrigate 8,000ha of arable land. The Federal Government has committed an additional $10 million to further develop the business case. The project will require bilateral Government support to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the dam.

Development of the five proposed water infrastructure projects would meet a range of State and National Policy objectives: • Expand northern Australia’s agricultural productive capacity – this is nationally significant given the impact of drought on food and water security in southern Australia; • Increase northern Australia’s contribution to GDP through an increase in agricultural production; • Diversify northern Australia’s economic capabilities to facilitate investment and reduce reliance on tourism; and • Strengthen Australia’s international competitiveness through proximity to Asia.

GILBERT RIVER IRRIGATION SCHEME: Etheridge Shire Council proposes to manage

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $868.2m

Federal Investment State Investment

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2021-2022

2027-2031

Business Case (North Johnstone)

Environmental Approvals (Nullinga)

Planning and Design (Nullinga)*

Business Case (Tablelands)

Procurement and Construction (Nullinga)*

-

$10m

$50m

$7.2m

$367m*

$7m

-

$50m

-

$377m*

*staged funds to flow for Nullinga Dam from 2020-2031

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 13


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Tropical North Queensland

has a dynamic and vibrant education sector that includes two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and a number of private language and business schools.

• Youth unemployment currently sits at 9.3% and the region faces a skills shortage in areas related to health, allied health, aviation and a number of other STEAM professions. • To address regional skill gaps four key projects have been identified: $35 million for Queensland’s first Comprehensive University High School, $45 million for stages 2 and 3 of CQUniversity’s Asia Pacific Aviation Hub, $50 million for a permanent new CQUniversity campus in the Cairns CBD, and $26.7 million recurrent for Commonwealth Supported Places.

THE ISSUE

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has a dynamic and vibrant education sector that includes two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and a number of private language and business schools. Nearly 13,000 people are employed in education and training in TNQ, accounting for 5.2% of the State education workforce and contributing $1.1B to the economy. However, the region is shifting towards a knowledge-based economy which has implications for educators and regional training facilities. To accommodate the shift, the sector has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure in recent years, and a number of additional projects are flagged for investment. With a strong student base now established, CQUniversity and James Cook University (JCU) are experiencing rapid growth in the Cairns region. Through collaborative partnerships, to address current gaps in education pathways the two universities are working to build capacity across a range of industries and community initiatives.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

In 2017 CQUniversity released a community impact plan consisting of six primary projects. Most of the projects in the 2017 plan were completed to varying degrees by the end of 2018, requiring the development of an updated CQUniversity 2019 Cairns

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

Community Impact Plan which includes: •

Queensland’s first comprehensive University High School ($35 million)

Stage 2 and 3 CQUniversity Asia Pacific Aviation Hub ($45 million)

Permanent new CQUniversity Cairns CBD campus ($50 million)

Based within JCU’s Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, allied health, pharmacy and veterinary health professionals.

BACKGROUND

The TNQ region has an estimated resident population of 278,080 and population growth of 1.1% per annum. The attainment of a university degree in Cairns is 54% lower than the national average at 14.3%, while 8.5% of residents have an Advanced Diploma P 14


or Diploma and 22.9% have a Vocational certificate, on par with the rest of the State.

2.

QUniversity seeks $50 million to C establish a permanent, purpose-built CBD campus capable of accommodating 2,500+ students. The new, permanent campus will deliver an expanded range of training, education and research offerings that will diversify and grow the local economy and skilled workforce, while stimulating greater international student numbers in the CBD. This will cement CQUniversity’s presence in Cairns with a permanent CBD campus capable of absorbing forecast student growth, while galvanising Cairns’ identity as an agile, innovative two-university city.

Annual trend employment sits at 4.1% however over the past 12 months, most of this employment has occurred within the 25-44 year age group, leaving youth unemployment (15-24 years) at a much higher estimated 9.3%. While Cairns has two universities, access to appropriate courses and pathways into University are critical in bridging the high youth unemployment rate and encouraging young people to enter the workforce. Nationally over the next 5 years, an additional 85,000 health workers and 28,000 educators will be needed to fill jobs in regional areas. To fill this need, the importance of regional universities cannot be overstated with more than 55% of employed regional university graduates remaining in regional areas on completion of their studies.

3.

QUniversity seeks $45 million for the C second ($10 million) and third ($35 million) stages of its ambitious Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub. This funding will secure a second hanger at the Cairns International Airport, new laboratory facilities including specialist space for Aviation Accidents Forensics, new flight simulators including a high-fidelity, world class flight simulator capable of attracting global commercial flight training business, and the roll-out of new aviation courses; Bachelor of Accident Forensics, Bachelor of Airline and Airport Management, Bachelor of Airworthiness, and Aviation Masters and Research Programs.

NEXT STEPS In addressing youth unemployment and preparing the region’s workforce for the future, the following four projects have been identified as essential enablers. 1.

o establish Queensland’s first T Comprehensive University High School, Cairns State High School and CQUniversity seek $35 million in funding. The funding will deliver new teaching facilities and university education offerings at Cairns State High School, delivering education pathways and employment pipelines at fundamental levels. As a Queensland first, the school will focus on the Sciences, Aerospace, Engineering, and Performing Arts disciplines, supporting the government’s STEAM agenda and encouraging more young people into areas of critical workforce need.

4.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the Federal Government invest $35 million in 2022-2023 to progress Stage 3 of the CQUniversity AsiaPacific Aviation Hub, positioning Cairns as a world-class leader in aviation training.

That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, together with an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

That the Queensland Government invest $35 million in 20202021 to action the Comprehensive University High School, with a further $10 million in 2021-2022 for Stage 2 of the CQUniversity Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub and $50 million in 2022-2023 for the CQUniversity CBD Campus, to collectively address skill gaps and unemployment in Tropical North Queensland.

o support the training and recruitment of T Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer Years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $130m

Federal Investment State Investment

2020-2021

2021-2022

University High School

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

CQUniversity CBD Campus

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

-

-

-

$35m

$35m

$10m

$50m

-

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

2022-2023

P 15


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • With Cairns positioning itself to be the Arts and Cultural Capital of northern Australia, to cater for its multicultural community, welcome new migrants and encourage social cohesion, further investment in infrastructure is required. • To strengthen arts and culture, the Cairns Gallery Precinct will showcase domestic and international touring exhibitions as well as contemporary local and indigenous art. The project requires tri-partite investment of $39.8 million. • The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct requires considerable infrastructure upgrades to unlock the potential of this significant community precinct. Master planning indicates a $40 million investment is required to upgrade this vital community asset. • Cairns is positioned as an international sports destination, which represents an important and growing sector of the region’s economy. To unlock the potential further, a $1 million business case investment is sought to identify catalytic infrastructure required.

THE ISSUE

Cairns’ ambition to be the Arts and Cultural Capital of northern Australia is an objective embedded in the Cairns Regional Council Corporate Plan 2017-2022, the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, and widely supported by Cairns business and industry. The Cairns region has seen recent investment in arts, sport and cultural facilities such as the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) and the Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, and plays host to events of international significance such as the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship, Paralympic Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), UCI World Mountain Bike Championships and Targa Great Barrier Reef. However, the continued growth of arts, sport and culture requires additional investment. To achieve this, three key projects have been identified: 1.

Cairns Gallery Precinct development ($39.8 million)

2. Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct redevelopment ($40 million)

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

3. International sports destination market assessment and business case ($1 million) The Cairns Gallery Precinct is an initiative of Cairns Regional Council and is aligned with the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, which

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

was launched in partnership with industry stakeholders in 2018. The project aims to connect three regionally significant heritage listed buildings in the Cairns CBD (the existing Cairns Art Gallery, the Old Cairns Courthouse and the former Mulgrave Shire Council offices) and establish a new world class precinct that has a strong connection to the region’s indigenous communities. The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct plays host to Australia’s biggest regional show, a key annual event that provides education pathways and exposes residents to rural activities that would otherwise not be experienced. The precinct also facilitates activities that are affordable and family oriented, making this critical infrastructure for community-based events that cannot be accommodated elsewhere. Redevelopment of the precinct will grow community engagement in the region. As an international sports destination, Cairns has a unique opportunity to further position itself as a destination of choice for sports tourism, elite level sports training camps, mass participation sporting events and sports related research and education. With a solid track record of attracting and hosting large scale events and elite athletes, the opportunity exists to unlock further potential in areas such as professional women’s sport and tropical sports conditioning.

P 16


OUR RECOMMENDATION

BACKGROUND

The Cairns region has an estimated resident population of 278,080, with 10% of people identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and 19.1% being born overseas. The multicultural nature of the region is reflected in the importance of the arts and recreation sector to the economy, which employs 1.8% of the total workforce and contributes $105.8 million to the economy annually. To cater for the multicultural community, welcome new migrants and encourage social cohesion, a range of facilities are required to accommodate community activities while also catering for elite athletes. To strengthen arts and culture, the Cairns Gallery Precinct will showcase domestic and international touring exhibitions as well as contemporary local and indigenous art. The precinct will provide community arts and cultural facilities including collaborative working and learning spaces, production spaces, civic function and events spaces and food, beverage and retail facilities. It will provide a significant positive economic impact during construction and once operational, will add $20.7 million annually to Gross Regional Product and support 177 ongoing full-time jobs. To accommodate community events, the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct requires considerable infrastructure upgrades. Located near the Cairns CBD, the site covers 25 hectares of State-owned land with Cairns Regional Council appointed as Trustee. In 2018, the QLD Govt funded a Master Plan and financial feasibility for the precinct, which indicates that significant upgrades are needed to unlock the potential of this significant community precinct. In September 2019, Council approved a three year permit with the Cairns Agricultural Pastoral and Mining Association (CAPMA) to provide interim tenure over the precinct site. This interim tenure will enable further analysis

of the Master Plan to be completed which in turn, will inform future negotiations between CAPMA and Council for longer term tenure to the site. To unlock potential as a sports destination, an important and growing sector of the Cairns economy, a detailed business case is required that includes an implementation plan for key initiatives. The business case will identify key opportunities to ensure Cairns can best position itself as a sports destination of choice. Potential projects flagged include the establishment of a Women’s NBL Basketball team, a Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre, and a multi-use rectangular stadium.

That under a tri-partite funding arrangement, the Federal and Queensland Government’s each commit $13.3 million in the 2020-2021 budget to invest in the Cairns Gallery Precinct.

That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest $40 million to upgrade the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct in line with the Master Plan.

That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest $1 million to facilitate a detailed business case that identifies catalytic projects for the sports tourism sector.

NEXT STEPS In developing the arts and culture and sport sectors in Tropical North Queensland, the following three projects are considered essential enablers and require investment to proceed: 1.

he Cairns Gallery Precinct, which has T an estimated capital cost of $39.8 million. Cairns Regional Council is seeking a tripartite funding model with the Federal, State and Local Governments each contributing $13.3 million. A detailed business case has been completed and the project is ready to progress to design and construction phase.

2.

he Cairns Showground, Sporting and T Community Precinct upgrade has an estimated capital cost of $40 million. With the Master Planning process complete, the project requires a business case to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to design and construction.

3.

ositioning Cairns as a Sports Destination P requires further scoping to identify and unlock catalytic project opportunities. A two-stage detailed business case is required to achieve this, with the project to be led by CQUniversity.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $82.6m

2020-2021

2021-2022

Gallery Precinct

Showground Upgrade

Sports Tourism Business Case

Showground Upgrade

Federal Investment

$13.3m

-

-

-

State Investment

$13.3m

$20m

$1m

$20m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 17


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: BURKE, CARPENTARIA. DOOMADGEE STATE ELECTORATE: TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATES: KENNEDY

GULF SAVANNAH WAY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Gulf Savannah Way

stretches for 3,700 km and is considered to be one of the top 10 Great Australian Drives, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley.

• Drive tourism delivers $69.8 million into the Gulf region annually, with 38% of visitors entering the Savannah Way via Cairns. • Large segments of the Queensland section of the Savannah Way are unsealed and flood prone, isolating communities during the wet season and limiting the economic value of this northern road link. • Sealing the Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million, split 80:20 between the State and Federal Governments. • Federal investment of $50 million was allocated in 2019 through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. To ensure this funding is matched 80:20 by the State, sections of the Savannah Way require formal declaration as a State-controlled road.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

THE ISSUE

The Gulf Savannah Way traverses Northern Australia, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. The route is approximately 3,700 km long, crossing 15 National Parks, five World Heritage areas and a variety of natural routes across the Top End. Considered to be in the top 10 greatest road trips of Australia, the self-drive tourism market delivers $69.8 million annually into the Gulf region, with 38% of visitors starting the journey in Cairns. The North West Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way takes in 313km with almost 60% of the road already sealed, however there are critical missing links that require pavement upgrades, bitumen seal, minor realignment of substandard curves, concrete causeways and four major river crossings. As large sections of the Savannah Way remain unsealed and flood prone, communities become isolated during the annual wet season which limits the economic value of this northern road link. Upgrading the Queensland segment of the Gulf Savannah Way will require replacing existing substandard infrastructure with a 7.5m wide bitumen sealed pavement,

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

with concrete causeways through creek crossings and raised floodways (using 1.2m high culverts) through major river crossings.

BACKGROUND

Normanton to Burketown is approximately 221km with about 50% unsealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, some minor realignment, concrete causeways and a major culvert crossing at the Leichhardt River. Burketown to Doomadgee is approximately 88km long and fully sealed but has two major river crossings at the Gregory River and Nicholson River which require some minor pavement, alignment and causeway improvements. Doomadgee to NT Border is approximately 104km long with only 30% sealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, minor realignment and concrete causeways plus a major river crossing at Branch Creek. In recognising the need to seal the Gulf Savannah Way, in 2019 the Federal Government committed $50 million to road upgrades through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. However, large sections of the Savannah Way have a Regional road designation, P 18


OUR RECOMMENDATION

meaning formal declaration as Statecontrolled road is required to ensure this funding is matched by the Queensland Government under the 80:20 Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

ormanton to Burketown - $100 million N to be constructed progressively over 10 consecutive years.

urketown to Doomadgee - $30 million B funded over 4 consecutive financial years (equally in years 1-4).

NEXT STEPS

oomadgee to NT Border - $56 million to D be provided in equal instalments over the 10-year project period.

he project will extend across North T West Queensland, travelling along the Gulf of Carpentaria from Normanton to the Northern Territory boarder, passing through Burketown, Doomadgee and Hell’s Gate in Queensland and connecting to Wollogorang in the Northern Territory.

Sealing the remaining Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million. Completing the project over a 10-year period with funds made available to local councils each year will allow the retention of a local workforce. The estimated investment breakdown is as follows:

That the Federal and Queensland Governments support the sealing and improved flood resilience of the western Queensland section of the National Highway by providing 80:20 project funding in accordance with the Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

That during 20192020 the Queensland Government work with local Councils to amend the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Act (1994) to declare all Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way as State-controlled road.

That allocation of funds be distributed to the controlling Local Government Authorities in equal portions over a 10-year period from 2019-2020.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $136m Federal Investment State Investment

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024*

$14.88m

$14.88m

$14.88m

$14.88m

$3.7m

$3.7m

$3.7m

$3.7m

*with forwards ongoing until 2028

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 19


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget of $1 billion for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. • Significant additional recurrent funding* beyond the current budget is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 tertiary referral). • Level 6 status will facilitate new services, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment. • The CHHHS master planning process has identified $500 million in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, $10 million is now sought for a detailed business case for the master plan. • To attract, retain and educate the workforce required, JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry requires an extra 50 Commonwealth Supported Places, 30 International places and an allocation of scholarships through the Destination Australia scholarships program.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE ISSUE

Expanded clinical services and a qualified and comprehensive workforce at Cairns Hospital are critical for meeting the health needs of Tropical North Queensland’s (TNQ’s) growing population. Over the past three years, the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) has addressed this need with an expansion of clinical services, including: • locally based urology services; • a new adolescent ward; • 24-hour availability of the cardiac catheter laboratory; • an expanded intensive care unit; • a dedicated stroke service; and • increased cancer care services. In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget for CHHHS of $1 billion, plus $70 million to upgrade the Mental Health Unit, $2.8 million to build a second catheterisation laboratory and $4 million for a vascular surgery theatre. In coming years, the CHHHS is aiming to obtain Level 6 status in in a range of clinical areas including endoscopy, cardiac (coronary care unit), cardiac medicine, some medical and surgical specialties, perioperative (operating suite and post anaesthetic room) and anaesthetics, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment. Following these investments, the Cairns Hospital will be delivering its highest level of care to date. However, to cater for growing demand and address the critical

health challenges facing TNQ, there remains an urgent need to continue to increase surgical capacity (outpatients, preadmission clinic and operating theatre time) and to recruit Cairns-based clinicians to provide specialist services currently being delivered elsewhere. The CHHHS has recently completed a master planning process identifying infrastructure needs worth an estimated $500 million over the next 20 years and is now seeking $10 million to complete a detailed business case to map out this significant upgrade.

BACKGROUND

In 2018-2019 there were 74,667 presentations to the Cairns Hospital emergency department, a 24% increase over the preceding five years, and 82,727 patients were admitted to the Hospital. Throughout 2019 the emergency department has faced unprecedented pressure, averaging 211 patients per day, a 4% increase on the previous year. Also 30% of emergency patients are tourists or people who live outside Cairns, in rural and remote areas including Cape York and Torres Strait. The Cairns Hospital supports an estimated resident population of 278,080 and regularly provides acute medical services for residents of the Cape and Torres region (population of 26,399). Combined with estimated population growth of 1.1% per annum, and an ageing population, it is estimated that by 2026 an additional 67,000 people will reside

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

*To be informed by various studies and business case to finalise requirements

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 20


OUR RECOMMENDATION in the catchment area with close to one in five residents being over 65. The Cairns Hospital also provides medical services for the three million tourists that visit the region annually. Demand for CHHHS services will therefore continue to increase, requiring continued investment in specialised training for the local health workforce, with current planning predicting an extra 80 inpatient beds are needed by 2028 and 223 by 2037. When combined with the expansion of University medical training facilities in the region, particularly by James Cook University (JCU), there is growing momentum to upgrade Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital. For example: •

ased within JCU’s Division of Tropical B Health and Medicine, JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health and veterinary health professionals. he CHHHS strategic plan includes a T priority to build a Research, Education and Innovation (REI) Centre in Cairns that will provide state of the art research and education infrastructure for the

region. Once constructed, through partnerships with educators, scientists, medical practitioners and technology firms, the $150 million REI Centre will ensure skilled health workers are attracted to, and remain in the region, building clinical capability to improve patient outcomes in the region. •

Additional funding is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 referral status).

That the Queensland Government provides $10 million in 2019-2020 for a detailed business case to support implementation of the CHHHS master plan over the next 20 years.

That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, together with an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

airns Hospital is the first regional digital C hospital in Australia, which demonstrates its ability to manage the operational change required to progress to level 6 service delivery.

NEXT STEPS To successfully transition Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital, an increase in Level 6 services is required over the next three years across specialties such as cardiac medicine, endoscopy and other medical and surgical specialties. Master planning by CHHHS has also identified the need for an estimated $500 million in infrastructure during the next 20 years with $10 million now needed for a detailed business case. In addition, to support the training and recruitment of Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated additional recurrent funding Federal Investment (CSP) State Investment

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

-

$26.7m

$26.7m

$26.7m

$10m

TBC*

TBC*

TBC*

*To be informed by various studies and business case to finalise requirements

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 21


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

PACIFIC ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Cairns is the ideal strategic hub for the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy. • The ambition to establish Cairns as the Pacific hub for Australia is aligned with the Federal Government’s own agenda, meeting the needs of the Step-Up to the Pacific program. • Cairns has the structures and relationships in place to support the establishment of an Office of the Pacific to administer the Pacific Engagement Program from northern Australia.

“ We see it as a strategic port, as a port of national significance…its link between here and the Pacific is a key part of why we believe that is so strategic... Cairns is very important to our engagement with the Pacific.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 22 January 2019

THE ISSUE

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated in January 2019 that “Cairns [is] a Pacific capital of Australia, a tropical capital of Australia. Cairns is very important to our engagement with the Pacific.” As such, Cairns is Australia’s natural home for administering the national Pacific Engagement Strategy, providing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s new Office of the Pacific with close direct air and sea access to Pacific nations, enabling stronger partnerships for economic growth, regional security and free trade. The establishment of Cairns as the Pacific hub for Australia is aligned with the Federal Government’s own agenda. Cairns is home to a multicultural society and with 10,000+ Papua New Guinea (PNG) nationals residing in the region, is already a base for Australia’s participation in the development of: cultural and education research and teaching; health care; marine training; logistic support including maintenance and enhancement; and security support for South Pacific nations.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

From now until 2030, the Pacific region is estimated to need US$3.1 billion in investment per year. While Australia has consistently been the largest investor in the region averaging $1.3 billion per annum, a total of 62 countries are active Pacific investors with the top five being Australia, China, New Zealand, the United States and Japan. Australia has traditionally focussed on building capacity for social initiatives such as health care, policing and security, while other countries such as China have focussed on catalytic

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

infrastructure projects such as marine facilities, airports and roads. Australia’s Step-Up to the Pacific program, which sees engagement in the Pacific as one of the highest priorities of Government, is tied to the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and commits Australia to a more ambitious level of Pacific engagement. The Pacific nations themselves have identified a number of challenges in regard to pursuing economic growth. These include unreliable telecommunications networks, shortages around skills and expertise, concerns regarding law and order (security), and control of fisheries, their most prolific natural resource. While the newly formed Office of the Pacific has been tasked with overseeing Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy, Cairns already has strong established networks and links with nations of the Pacific, together with expertise in working with dispersed populations and tropical climates. The city is therefore well-placed to facilitate the administration of the next phase of security, education, health, trade and investment conversations in the region.

BACKGROUND

Over the past 18 months, growing tensions between the United States and China have elevated the strategic importance of the Pacific, and Australia is now more than ever a frontline player in terms of engagement and development of the region. Increased P 22


emphasis on the region is largely due to tensions around trade agreements, which reflect strong economic growth in the Pacific. However in the case of China, trade agreements are linked to repayable loans and as developing economies with scarce national resources, they appear to be beyond the capacity of Pacific nations to service. This has increased the need to secure their fisheries, resource productivity, policing and security. Evolving geo-political tensions in the region have led to a number of significant collaborations in the Pacific. These include a bi-lateral agreement between the US and Australia to reinstate the Lombrum Naval base on Manus Island in PNG, and a tri-lateral partnership between Australia, Japan and the United States to mobilise infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific. In addition, Australia has established a $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility (AIFF) for the Pacific, signalling the significance of the future economic partnership. On the back of these collaborations, the Pacific is a region which has undergone and is undergoing profound change. This will be further accelerated through the establishment of the PACER Plus free trade agreement, through which 14 signatory countries (including Australia) are collectively focussed on facilitating trade to strengthen the global position of the Pacific. In addition, on 20 November 2019 the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, asked the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade - Trade Sub-committee to inquire into and report on Australia’s opportunities to activate greater trade and investment with Pacific island countries.

NEXT STEPS Cairns is already home to many of the Commonwealth’s Pacific engagement initiatives, covering security, education, economic development, infrastructure financing and foreign affairs and trade. As stated by the Prime Minister in January 2019: “We see it as a strategic port, as a port of national significance… it’s link between here and the Pacific is a key part of why we believe that is so strategic.” Basing an Office of the Pacific in Cairns will enable Australia to quickly build stronger relationships with our Pacific neighbours, providing a more coordinated strategic approach and providing the Commonwealth

with better value for existing budgeted measures. For example: DEFENCE AND MARINE – The Cairns Marine Precinct is home to HMAS Cairns, one of only five naval bases in Australia, and is the ideal base for OPV and Border Force vessel sustainment and maintenance, the Pacific Maritime Security Programme and the Pacific Mobile Training Team. Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018) the Cairns port is a critical national infrastructure asset. EDUCATION – Strong alignment exists between Cairns’ tertiary institutions and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, with structures already in place to administer the new Australia-University of the South Pacific partnership worth $84 million over six years (2019-24). University research projects already exist and there is scope for further engagement. Cairns also offers essential marine training through its Great Barrier Reef International Marine College, which provides the opportunity to contribute to the development of South Pacific nations fisheries control and security. INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT – With the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund headquartered in Cairns, the structure exists to either manage or co-locate the $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) from the region. Cairns is also supported by direct flights and shipping links to and from the Pacific nations. SPORT – Cairns is the ideal base for elite athlete training camps associated with the AustraliaPacific Sports Linkages Program, has strong links established through the Pacific Games, and provides the perfect base for hosting future Pacific Games. GOVERNMENT AND TRADE – Cairns is home to the Exchange Innovation and Information Centre (EiiC), which works in partnership with PNG Government to promote business and educational links between Cairns, PNG and the Pacific. The EiiC is unique within Australia and houses the offices of Tradelinked Cairns PNG Pacific, and of PNG National and Provincial agencies. Cairns also hosts 12 Foreign Consulates and through existing business links, is engaged with and supports the Pacific Labour Scheme.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Federal Government establish an Office of the Pacific in Cairns to drive the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy from northern Australia, and formally designate Cairns as Australia’s northern hub for delivering the Step-Up to the Pacific program.

That to facilitate hosting the Pacific Games in northern Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee becomes a member of the Pacific Games Council and works with the three levels of government to secure the Pacific Games in Cairns.

The Federal Government provides $1.5 million for developing a comprehensive strategy to identify and maximise initiatives to position Cairns as the Pacific capital of Australia as part of delivering its Step-Up to the Pacific agenda.

HEALTH – Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, in partnership with James Cook University (JCU), is established as a world-leader in tropical health and diseases, knowledge that is vital to our Pacific neighbours. And through its Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, JCU has already established research relationships with the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University.

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 23


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

SUPERYACHT CHARTERING BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 passed by the Senate on 5 December allows foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia via temporary licences which are issued under the Coastal Trading Act. • While the change in policy will unlock an estimated 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy by 2021, a sunset clause attached to the Bill will see the temporary licensing option expire on 30 June 2021. • The inability for foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia has historically been the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry. • Allowing foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021 requires a revision of The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 or an extension of the current Special Recreational Vessel laws.

THE ISSUE

Allowing foreign superyachts to charter in Australia without the need to be imported is worth an estimated 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy. To unlock this market and attract increased visitation to Australia, in December 2019 a Special Recreational Vessels Bill was passed by the Senate, allowing foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia under temporary licencing arrangements. However, the Bill contains a sunset clause that expires on 30 June 2021. A permanent solution is therefore needed, which requires a revision of The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

BACKGROUND

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

The inability for foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia has been the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry. In neighbouring countries such as Fiji, changes in legislation to allow foreign flagged superyacht charters has shown a 40% increase in vessel visitation and an increase of average stay from 21 days to 136 days. New Zealand enjoyed an increase of 54% in superyacht visitation in 2014-2015 with new legislation

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

permitting a vessel to stay up to 2 years and conduct charters. In 2017, the Federal Government submitted changes to The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 into Parliament that removed the current requirement for five voyages, removed the requirement for each voyage to be between two separate ports, and allowed exemption from the Customs Act while alongside or in a maintenance yard. The amendments were passed by the Lower House in August 2018, however were not sent to the Senate and in October 2019, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications advised the superyacht sector that consultations regarding amendments to the Act would be reopened. To limit the impact of extended consultations on superyacht sector growth, in December 2019 the Morrison Government introduced a Special Recreational Vessels Bill into Parliament that allows superyacht owners to apply for a temporary licence, enabling superyachts to engage in coastal trading in Australia over a 12-month period. The Bill will expire on 30 June 2021 when it’s anticipated broad reform of the Coastal Trading Act will have been achieved.

P 24


OUR RECOMMENDATION With no change to the current policy, economic modelling of the Australian superyacht industry suggests the $1.965 billion industry would grow by approximately 13% over the five years from 2016 to 2021. However, with appropriate policy settings the superyacht sector’s annual contribution to the Australian economy could grow by as much as 70%, delivering $1.64 billion more in GDP and 11,800 more Australian jobs. In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) the industry currently injects $324.1 million into the regional economy and supports 2664 full-time equivalent jobs, which represents 18% of the 14,500 jobs supported by the superyacht industry Australia-wide. Following the recent change in policy, by 2021 the TNQ regional contribution is expected to grow by 78% to $577.7 million per annum, leading to an additional 4504 jobs.

NEXT STEPS Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) strongly recommends that following the new round of industry consultation, the resulting amendments to the Coastal Trading Act be passed by Government before 31 December 2020 in order to permit foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021. There is no requirement for Government investment in order to secure the additional $1.64 billion in GDP per annum and provide surety to the sector. The urgency of a solution is demonstrated by interest from international companies such as Burgess (world’s largest superyacht charter company) which has recently established an office in Sydney to support the growing number of international events that will attract superyachts to the IndoPacific region. Current events that will attract superyacht vessels to the region include: •

28-29 Feb 2020 – SailGP in Sydney Harbour

Jul to Aug 2020 – Summer Olympics in Tokyo

Dec 2020 to Mar 2021 – 36th America’s Cup in Auckland

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

That in 2019-2020, consultations on options for reform of the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 be fast-tracked by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

That to provide surety to the sector and allow foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications work with the Senate to secure the passage of amendments to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 by 31 December 2020.

P 25


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, COOK, HILL FEDERAL ELECTORATES: KENNEDY

STRATEGIC ENERGY SECTOR FRAMEWORK BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Electricity prices are unsustainably high in TNQ which restricts business profitability and new investments that drive economic growth. • The TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (rural towns and properties closer to Cairns); and (3) OffGrid (remote towns and properties). • Surveys indicate 15% of regional Queensland businesses have cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills. • A TNQ Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework is proposed to drive affordability, reliability and transition in the TNQ energy system. This Framework would require shared State and Federal Government investment of approximately $1.5 million. • A State Government CSO of $465 million is in place. However, a 5% headroom charge is still applied statewide which removes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

ADVANCE CAIRNS

THE ISSUE

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) faces unsustainably high electricity costs to the detriment of regional industries, small, medium and large enterprises, and domestic consumers. An estimated 75% of electricity consumed from the Queensland energy grid is by business customers and more than 97% of Queensland businesses are small business, making up 44% of jobs in the State. Given TNQ’s proximity to two world heritage listed assets, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, the vision for the region is energy sector reliability, affordability and a seamless transition to reduced carbon emissions. At present, the region suffers significant energy reliability, affordability and transition challenges, while also providing opportunities such as energy export. Despite policy instability over the last decade, there have been major new investments in the region in wind, solar, biomass and hydro-power electricity generation. As more stable State and Federal energy policy frameworks are beginning to emerge, to achieve energy reliability and affordability while also transitioning to reduced carbon emissions, TNQ will require a region-wide strategic investment framework that has bilateral Government support.

OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

BACKGROUND

Current energy prices seriously impact business and domestic consumers, adding to cost-of-living pressures and resulting in business and industry restricting their regional economic growth opportunities. While subsidies exist for domestic consumers, industry operates in a largely unsubsidised environment, making energy a critical influence in decisions to invest in TNQ. Across northern Queensland, inefficiencies in the electricity network drive the case for increased power generation. High transmission losses and fuel transport needs highlight the overwhelming costs of supplying power across the region and universally, the efficiency and reliability of TNQ’s energy supply needs to be assessed and improved. In response to escalating energy costs, the Queensland Electricity Users Network (QEUN) conducted a regional business survey in 2018 and identified that 15% of regional Queensland businesses had already cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills. In addition, 30% would consider cutting staff if electricity prices rise again while conversely, 24% would consider expanding their business if electricity prices fell. The survey also identified five business sectors in regional Queensland greatly concerned about their ability to pay their P 26


power bills in full and on time. All five represent critical industries to the TNQ economy which combined, represent 35% of jobs and contribute $3.8 billion toward GRP annually: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

ccommodation and food service A Agriculture Arts and recreation Manufacturing Retail trade

As a predominantly tourism, services, resources and agricultural economy, TNQ stands firmly behind the need to: (i) ensure a strong reliable power strategy that delivers substantive energy security; (ii) identify new generation options that deliver improved energy affordability; and (iii) without compromising reliability and affordability, deliver significantly on reducing carbon intensity in energy production. However, preliminary work by the CSIRO Energy Flagship suggests that the TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (Rural Towns/Properties across TNQ); and (3) Off-Grid (Remote Towns/Properties). The reliability, affordability and transition challenges and opportunities facing these three markets is diverse, requiring significantly different policy, budgetary and industry investment solutions. In addition, the impacts of disruptive technology, including the uptake of domestic new renewable sources, progress in battery storage technology, and advancements with electric car technology are certain to impact the way that energy is generated, stored, transmitted and consumed in the future. In response to escalating energy costs the State Government provides a Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment to Ergon Energy (Energy Queensland) to subsidise the cost of electricity for domestic and business users in regional Queensland. The purpose of the CSO is to ensure the Uniform Tariff Policy (UTP) is implemented evenly across the State and in

2018-2019, the total CSO to support regional Queenslanders was $465 million. The 5% headroom charge introduced in 2013 to allow competition in south-east Queensland however is applied state wide, regardless of the fact that there is only one provider in regional Queensland. Coupled with high wholesale costs, this diminishes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That in 2020-2021 the Federal and Queensland Governments support development of the TNQ Energy Sector Investment Framework through shared investment of approximately $1.5 million (based on 50:50 contributions).

That to maintain the Uniform Tariff Policy and annual payment of the Community Service Obligation, the Queensland Government remove the 5% headroom requirement and reduce wholesale costs by 10%.

NEXT STEPS A decade of policy uncertainty has led to limited activity around the resolution of energy security issues. In addition, the complexity of electricity regulation is a barrier for community and industry engagement in energy reform discussion and delivery. Significant and targeted effort is needed to frame the investment opportunities that deliver reliability, affordability and carbon emission transition outcomes for regional Queensland. Therefore, in a collaborative partnership coordinated through James Cook University’s Cairns Institute, it is proposed to develop an Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework. This would aim to: •

Better understand key reliability, affordability and transition drivers in our region’s energy markets;

xplore and define the most viable new E generation opportunities;

etermine the most critical policy D refinement and public-sector investment pathways;

xplore the potential for new energy and E energy services export opportunities in the region;

ngage with industry, community, Local E Government, and other key regional stakeholders to scope and identify current and future energy options and aspirations; and

evelop and drive a cohesive, bilaterally D supported strategic pathway for regional attracting investment into the region to achieve reliability, affordability and transition.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $1.5m

2020-2021

Federal Investment

$0.75m

State Investment

$0.75m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 27


REGIONAL

PLANNING

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LIECHHARDT, KENNEDY

POPULATION AND MIGRATION STRATEGY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • A Population and Migration Strategy will provide the framework to attract people to Tropical North Queensland and encourage people to stay long-term. • Australian residents are showing they want to live in regional areas. Policy that supports population migration to the regions can aid in balancing Australia’s population growth trends, which are currently centred around metropolitan areas. • Development of a Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy requires shared State and Federal Government investment of approximately $1.5 million and supports the objectives of the Commonwealth’s newly formed Centre for Population.

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE ISSUE

In 2018 Australia’s population reached 25 million people, two decades earlier than predicted, which has put unprecedented pressure on metropolitan capitals. Significant population growth in capital cities has created a settlement imbalance, leading to sizable infrastructure investment in cities and an infrastructure deficit in the regions. While population growth has been centred on capital cities, Australian residents are showing they want to live in regional areas with more than 400,000 people choosing to relocate from the city to the regions in the five years to 2016. Migration away from capital cities has predominantly occurred in the 30-39 year and 60-69 year age groups, leading to unexpected increased demand for regional school enrolments and health care services, and demonstrating the important role of population policy planning for regional locations. To encourage the trend of regional migration to continue, and ensure that relocation is a real and viable alternative to capital cities, there is a need to rebalance national infrastructure spending away from urban fringe locations such as the Gold Coast to regional city locations such as Cairns. Infrastructure investment will

improve the accessibility and liveability of regional cities and in the case of Cairns, deliver on the Federal Government’s northern Australia agenda for economic growth. Population growth should not be a side effect of other policies as it leads to unplanned urban growth and insufficient infrastructure, and this has been the experience to date in northern Queensland. The Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy will therefore provide a strategic approach to population that demonstrates the needs of the region, leading to proactive plans that drive catalytic projects such as roads, health services and water infrastructure plus a supportive policy framework. The strategy will inform forward planning for government at all levels, delivering on the objectives of the Commonwealth’s newly created Centre for Population.

BACKGROUND

In December 2018, population became a standing agenda item for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), placing it firmly on the national policy agenda. In delivering a new approach to population planning, the State Treasurers and the Australian Local Government Association

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 28


have been tasked with developing a national framework through a bottom-up approach to population policy development. In support of this objective, a national population and planning framework was released by the Federal Government in March 2019 and in October 2019, a new Centre for Population was launched to be based inside of Treasury. The Centre will become the primary location for all population related matters and will work closely with the states and territories, academics and think tanks in order to share data, research, ideas and expertise on population. As the largest region in northern Australia by population (278,080 people), while TNQ has an established track record of population growth averaging 1.1% per annum, this is 55% lower than the Queensland State average of 1.7%. To achieve the region’s economic potential and to help fill current employment gaps, in May 2019 a Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) was declared for the region. However, to drive targeted growth instead of relying on unplanned migration, there is a need to identify emerging and growing industries and the associated skill gaps they will bring, enabling the region to develop workforce projections and to plan for the targeted recruitment of skilled migrants. This will also inform social infrastructure needs and investment requirements for catalytic assets.

NEXT STEPS Policy that supports population migration to the regions can be part of the solution to

balancing Australia’s population growth away from metropolitan areas, relieving pressure on capital cities while supporting economic development in northern Australia.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That in 2020-2021 the Federal and Queensland Governments support the development of the Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy through shared investment of approximately $1.5 million (based on 50:50 contributions), delivering on the objectives of the Commonwealth’s newly formed Centre for Population.

That to accelerate economic growth and improve workforce retention in TNQ, the Federal Government provide more flexibility with annual caps and with concessions for occupations eligible for sponsorship under the Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement, and commit to renewing the agreement when it expires in 2024.

A Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy is needed to provide the framework for the infrastructure, services and facilities required to attract, retain and support a skilled and growing resident population in TNQ. The strategy will inform policy development regarding infrastructure, liveability, social cohesion and workforce planning, delivering the change required for economic development, and aiding in the creation of a Masterbrand that overcomes perceptions of poor infrastructure, services and amenity in the region. Led by James Cook University’s Cairns Institute, the population and migration strategy will: •

I dentify causes and consequences of population change;

stablish medium term goals for E population size and growth;

xamine distribution trends and E opportunities to modify them; and

I dentify possible levers to achieve the changes required.

The result will be a framework for more sustainable, affordable and efficient growth, enabling the region to influence population trends rather than respond to them. The strategy will also provide input to the State population plan, complement Federal population initiatives around attracting new migrants to regional cities, and inform the Queensland Government’s delivery of the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $1.5m

2020-2021

Federal Investment

$0.75m

State Investment

$0.75m

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 29


REGIONAL

PLANNING

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS CITY DEAL BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • To position Cairns as an economic powerhouse in northern Australia, a City Deal is required to fast track catalytic investments. • The implementation of a Cairns City Deal aligns with and supports the implementation of a number of key strategies at the Local, State and Federal Government levels. • The Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia has recommended the establishment of a City Deal for Cairns to accelerate growth and Cairns Regional Council has endorsed a City Deal proposal. • To establish a City Deal for Cairns, the Queensland and Federal Governments are now required to join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent.

THE ISSUE

Cairns is the capital of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), the largest region in northern Australia and the strategic national gateway to the Pacific, Asia and beyond. The city itself has a resident population of 165,525 people. To unlock significant opportunities for TNQ, and position Cairns as an economic powerhouse in the north, a City Deal is required to fast track catalytic investments. This will ensure that infrastructure projects are linked with urban governance and land use reform, while taking into consideration workforce planning and liveability factors. The implementation of a City Deal for Cairns aligns with and supports the implementation of a number of key strategies at Local, State and Federal Government level. These include:

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

The National Population Policy framework, which identifies City Deals as a platform for managing growth through better urban planning;

The northern Australia agenda, which is focused on growing the northern Australian economy through long-term investment and support;

The Far North Queensland Regional plan, 2009-2031;

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

The Cairns 2050 Shared Vision; and

The Cairns Regional Council Economic Development Plan 2018-2022.

While acknowledging that City Deals are historically driven by Federal Government, in preparing for a Cairns City Deal the Cairns Regional Council has undertaken a substantial amount of background work, developing the platform required to demonstrate widespread support across local government, business and the community. This support is documented through the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, which was created in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders and launched by Cairns Regional Council in November 2018.

BACKGROUND

City Deals are a mechanism to bring together the three levels of government, the community and private enterprise to create place-based partnerships, delivering on the opportunities and challenges in Australia’s cities. They work to align the planning, investment and governance necessary to accelerate economic growth and job creation, stimulate urban renewal, and drive economic reforms to secure prosperity and liveability for Australian cities. Importantly for Cairns, for every 100,000

P 30


Australians choosing to live in a regional city instead of a metropolitan capital, it is estimated an additional $50 billion is released into the Australian economy over 30 years in reduced congestion costs and increased consumption. The savings in congestion costs alone are estimated to be $292 million per year or $4.9 billion over 30 years. With a resident population of 165,525 people and an average 30,000 additional visitors staying in the city on any given night, Cairns is one of the largest and most dynamic regional cities in Australia and is well placed to deliver on these national benefits of regional migration. Unique liveability and solid economic fundamentals have seen Cairns experience significant population growth (2.3% per annum in the 15 years to 2016), well in excess of the national growth rate. Combined with significant private investment and renewed business confidence, the region’s unemployment rate has reduced significantly in recent years. Cairns’ unique combination of economic potential, geographic location and liveability means the city is strategically positioned as a growth centre for both northern Australia and the State of Queensland. In order to realise

this potential, Cairns requires the three levels of government to work together to deliver the projects, policies and investments that will make a catalytic difference to the region.

NEXT STEPS In June 2018 the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia released its report ‘Northern Horizons – Unleashing Our Tourism Potential’. A key recommendation from that report was the establishment of a City Deal for Cairns.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That in 2019-2020 the Federal and Queensland Governments join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent, establishing a City Deal for Cairns, formalising a tripartite agreement to establish a set of catalytic priorities for the region.

To action this recommendation, Cairns Regional Council has endorsed a new Cairns Region City Deal proposal which highlights projects that are critical to securing the economic future of the city. Using the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision as its foundation, the proposal carries the support of State Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Federal Member for Leichhardt the Hon Warren Entsch, and was developed with input and consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders. To progress the Cairns City Deal initiative, the Queensland and Federal Governments are required to join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent to establish a City Deal for Cairns. The Statement of Intent will provide a starting point for a deal.

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 31


POPULATION GROWTH IS EXPECTED TO PUT PRESSURE ON CAIRNS’ URBAN WATER SUPPLY PHOTO CREDIT: CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 32


FAST

FACTS A

s Australia’s most global regional city, Cairns is a prosperous, growing and investment-ready regional centre located in the heart of Tropical North Queensland. Strategically located between two World Heritage listed sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest – the region is more than simply a world class tourist destination. It is fast becoming known for its tropical expertise in health, agriculture, marine science, engineering, construction and education. The region is well connected to the rest of Australia through direct airline links to seven countries, and has competitive access to significant global markets. With easy access to the Pacific via Cairns International Airport and the Cairns sea port, and with air, road and rail links to all major Australian cities, the region offers unrivalled connectivity to northern Australia.

CAIRNS CITY IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE GROWN BY

CAIRNS CITY POPULATION

165,525 278,080 CAIRNS IS THE FIFTH LARGEST REGIONAL CITY IN QUEENSLAND AND THE NINTH LARGEST IN AUSTRALIA

TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND BOASTS A

HEALTH CARE & SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

15,108 (13%) RETAIL TRADE

11,681 (10.1%) ACCOMMODATION & FOOD SERVICES

EDUCATION & TRAINING

10,164 (8.8%) CONSTRUCTION

8,968 (7.7%)

OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

These five industries accounted for 56,993 people, or 49.1% of the total TNQ Regional workforce.

GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT

2 MILLION DOMESTIC VISITORS 849,000 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS 130,000+ AIRCRAFT MOVEMENTS ANNUALLY

$3.4B An analysis of jobs held by the TNQ Regional workforce in 2016 shows the five largest sectors were:

IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

$15.15B

TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

11,072 (9.5%)

ADVANCE CAIRNS

REGIONAL POPULATION

ANNUAL EXPENDITURE

OUTPUT BY INDUSTRY SECTOR

INDUSTRY $M 17/18% Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

2,773.9

Mining

1,057.8 3.7

Manufacturing Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Construction Wholesale Trade

9.6

2,848.6 9.9 1,205.1

4.2

3,200.0 11.1 797.7

2.8

Retail Trade

1,341.9

4.7

Accommodation and Food Services

1,386.0

4.8

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

2,111.8

7.3

Information Media and Telecommunications

322.0

1.1

850.3

3.0

2,748.0

9.6

Financial and Insurance Services Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

1,331.6

4.6

Administrative and Support Services

1,097.0

3.8

Public Administration and Safety

1,823.9

6.3

Education and Training

1,019.6

3.5

Health Care and Social Assistance

1,727.6

6.0

377.2

1.3

Arts and Recreation Services Other Services

753.8

2.6

Total Industries

28,773.6

100.0

Source: Tourism Tropical North Queensland, National Visitor Survey 2018, Cairns Airport, Passenger Statistics 2019, Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, Economic and Community Profiles (.id - the population experts)

ADVANCE CAIRNS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

P 33


ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

CONTACT: ADVANCE CAIRNS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN NICK TROMPF E: NICKTROMPF@ADVANCECAIRNS.COM PH: 07 4080 2900

Profile for Advance Cairns

Advance Cairns 2020 Federal Budget Submission  

The year of 2020 demands both vision and action from those at the forefront of growing our economy, across private enterprise and all levels...

Advance Cairns 2020 Federal Budget Submission  

The year of 2020 demands both vision and action from those at the forefront of growing our economy, across private enterprise and all levels...