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Whitsunday Regional Council has welcomed a proposal by the Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen MP, to given short-term economic support to local businesses, communities and workers impacted by the downturn in the mining sector.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said that business innovation, supply chain diversification and workforce training and skills would all be prioritised under Mr Christensen’s proposal to establish a Bowen Basin Growth Fund.
“I was pleased to meet with Mr Christensen and Senator Matthew Canavan, the Minister for Northern Australia, to discuss this proposal and the various opportunities to assist local businesses, retrain and reskill local workers and invest in job-creating capital projects in our region,” Cr Willcox said.
“The mining sector contributes 9.2 per cent to the Whitsunday Region’s Gross Regional Product, our region has been significantly impacted by the downturn in the mining sector,” he said.
“We’re currently experiencing high levels of unemployment across the Whitsunday Region; in fact, over the last five years, we have had the fastest growing unemployment rate of any local government in Queensland except for Palm Island, and that’s simply not acceptable.
“It’s vital that local, State and Federal Governments work cooperatively to support new economic development and job creation opportunities, and as a modern council, we are ready, willing and able to partner with all levels of government to deliver programs such as this.”
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