Promoting Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait is a large undertaking and one that is being driven by the power of Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait (RDA FNQ&TS)
Covering the FNQ Statistical Division of 21 local government areas from Torres Strait to Kowanyama and across to Croydon and Cardwell the RDA FNQ&TS promotes long-term regional economic and social growth in order to achieve their vision of being the world’s leading sustainable tropical region.
With a national network of 52 committees comprising of local leaders, Regional Development Australia (RDA) aims to support economic development of regions such as Far North Queensland. Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait Inc, Chief Executive Office Danielle Carey says, “we support projects, policies and programmes designed to strengthen human capital, improve productivity, invest in infrastructure, increase access to markets, build our regional comparative advantage and business competitiveness leading to increased economic activity and the creation of new jobs along with social prosperity.”
RDA FNQ&TS builds, sustains and brokers collaborative partnerships to deliver regional outcomes across a diverse range of stakeholders. In addition, RDA FNQ&TS actively promote Australian Government programmes and support community and industry to access funding sources which deliver on economic development outcomes, with a strong focus on infrastructure related funding opportunities. “RDA FNQ&TS supports projects, secures investment, sorts policy problems and connects the region”, says Danielle.
While all are working toward a prosperous regional goal, RDA FNQ&TS differs from other local initiatives including Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce in their functionality and focus. “RDA FNQ&TS is federally funded and acts as the umbrella organisation that links all of the regional organisations to the Federal Government. Advance Cairns on the other hand is membership funded and provides Federal and State Government advocacy for infrastructure projects over $100k and policy changes to improve the growth of the region. It’s territory predominantly covers six regional Council areas with broader interests where benefits are possible for the region – i.e. across to the Qld/NT border to the Gulf Savannah Way Infrastructure.
“The Cairns Chamber of Commerce territory is predominantly Cairns, however their work with The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has expanded this in certain instances. They support advocacy to Queensland & Federal Governments and are the lead advocate to Cairns City Council.”
Following a recent review RDA FNQ&TS are now operating under a new charter that has seen the committee expand their focus beyond planning and into a more active and facilitative role which aims to attract investment for the region by driving economic growth and creating local jobs.
Along with CEO Danielle Carey, RDA FNQ&TS is led by a committee whose role it is to engage the community and inform governments of regional priorities and areas of greatest need. Recently appointed Chair of the Committee is David Kempton who has been living and working in the far north for over 30 years and understands the needs of the region. A Lawyer by profession, David was also the Member for Cook and Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs between 2012 – 2015. With a keen sense of community, David strongly believes that true community growth and social reform are created through economic development.
AS the RDA FNQ&TS continue to play a significant role in leading the far north region into 2019 their major focus will remain with their well-established priorities including: