Green and Blue Economic Stimulus Package

July 21, 2020

Igniting the Smart Green Capital of Australia

Tourism is the economic engine of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) and it has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic as well as a downturn in domestic tourism from the recent bushfires, severe flooding in 2019 and coral bleaching events. Modelling by Ernst & Young and .ID shows that TNQ will face a higher and more prolonged unemployment rate and economic downturn than other regions across Queensland and nationally.

Our region needs:

  • Immediate economic stimulus
  • A simple way to create new jobs rapidly
  • A stronger and more resilient economy
  • An eye to the future

This is an opportunity to burst out of the ‘boom and bust’ cycles that hamper Tropical North Queensland, and rebuild our economy so that it is more resilient to future economic shocks.

Worth protecting

The value of our natural assets to our economy each year:

  • World Heritage Areas - $11 billion
  • Tourism - $3.5 billion
  • Agriculture - $1.62 billion

Solution

Over 20 organisations have contributed to the development of a TNQ Green and Blue Economic Stimulus Package. It is designed to create jobs and new business opportunities by expanding shovel-ready projects to better protect the region’s reefs and rainforests.

It will provide:

  • immediate stimulus to address our short-term economic challenges and deliver jobs
  • an innovative recovery from the downturn that will increase the diversity and future resilience of our economy

Playing to our natural advantage

Natural resource management and conservation is a well-established and proven sector in TNQ. This sector has higher economic and employment multipliers [1.6-2.6 (economic) and 1.5-3.8 (employment)] than many other sectors.

THE PROGRAMS

The TNQ Green & Blue Stimulus Package consists of three key programs.

Boots on the Ground

  • Pest and weed management
  • Soil improvement
  • Tree planting and restoration in priority wildlife corridors
  • Targeted landscape and riverbank repairs to reduce sediment and fertiliser runoff and increase land productivity
  • Traditional fire management working with Rainforest Aboriginal People
  • Scientific research, monitoring and evaluation of restoration and management activities.

Fins in the Water

  • Coral regeneration (including high-value tourism sites)
  • Mangrove planting
  • Scientific research, monitoring and evaluation of restoration and management activities.

Smart Green Capital

  • Rapid feasibility studies to identify key opportunities to ignite new industries and jobs for the future
  • Innovation in research and technology to create new industries using circular and blue economy solutions
  • Zero emissions and waste pilot programs
  • Increase affordable renewable energy and electric transport

Benefits

  • Rapid stimulus and immediate jobs
  • Career pathways for young people
  • Opportunities for First Nations people
  • Development of new industries
  • Stronger, more diversified economy

Funding Requested

  • $180 million over three years
  • NCEconomics has indicated that this will provide 510 jobs per year (1,531 jobs over 3 years)

Key contacts:

Stewart Christie, CEO, Terrain NRM
0427 147 556 or stewart.christie@terrain.org.au

Scott Buchanan, Executive Director, Wet Tropics Management Authority
0427 604 120 or scott.buchanan@wtma.qld.gov.au

Lucy Graham, Director, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
0497 781 002 or director@cafnec.org.