MACKAY Region Chamber of Commerce has responded to the Federal Government’s call for pre-budget submissions ahead of the upcoming election with a wish list focused on local business.
Chamber Treasurer Simon Vigliante coordinated the submission, to ensure that Mackay region businesses would have their needs heard at a federal level.
“As a Chamber, it is our responsibility to clearly outline to all levels of government what our local businesses need to further create and sustain a prosperous region,” Mr Vigliante said.
“We covered off on the usual suspects – tax incentives, red tape reduction and the ongoing issues that affect businesses every day – but we also highlighted three projects that require immediate funding.
“As part of a larger effort by Chamber to address the increasing skills shortage in our region, we’ve asked for funding for a new initiative that we’ve named ‘Project Homegrown’.
“Essentially, this would be to facilitate the creation of a pool of speakers who are young, successful and from our region to then share their stories face to face with Grade 11 and 12 students who are at the point of making decisions about their own future.
“A common misconception growing up in Mackay can be that you have to move somewhere like Brisbane to reach a high level of success – it’s not true, and we have the proof, so we want to share that with those students and retain their talent here in the region.”
Funding for the Urannah Dam Scheme was high on the list of Chamber’s priorities.
“Initially, there would be the construction jobs during the build – but once fully constructed, there is a significant flow-on of ongoing, long-term jobs that would come from this project being completed. It also presents the opportunity for the production of hydropower, a sustainable energy source that would complement our coal offering.”
The Chamber are also calling on the Federal Government to play their part in ensuring that the Mackay region can continue to efficiently service the resource sector as automation becomes more widespread.
“When machinery operation is being controlled from offsite, we want those jobs coming to Mackay region people. To make sure that we aren’t left behind as workforces go digital, we’re asking the government to fund an IT audit – to ensure that we have the technological capability – and also provide the necessary resources and information so that local businesses can begin to upskill and prepare for the increasing move to offsite operators.”
Chamber are also finalising preparation for a federal debate between local candidates, to ascertain their party’s position on these issues.
“We have two candidates already committed and we’ve advised that we will be allowing members of the public, including the Mackay region business community, to send through questions for the candidates to respond to.”
Once the federal election has been called, details of the federal debate will be available on Chamber’s website at www.mackayregionchamber.com.au.
For more information:
Simon Vigliante, Treasurer 0439 747 537
Jade McAuley, Committee Member/Rebel Nation 0448 866 388