The Palaszczuk government has announced a $33.3 million economic diversification strategy for the region.
Speaking at Tuesday's North West Mineral Province summit, Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy Implementation Plan 2019-2021 sets out actions to deliver 13 diversification initiatives.
"We have done the necessary work to develop a blueprint and a strategy to understand, investigate and prioritise initiatives to diversify and grow the economy," Mr Dick said.
"This implementation plan is the culmination of that strategic work."
Mr Dick said there would be $5 million allocated to the blueprint and a further $28.3 million of new funding to deliver initiatives to boost jobs and prosperity for the region.
Mr Dick said the funding includes $14.5 million for Australia's first commercial drone-testing facility in Cloncurry.
"The facility, to be built by the Queensland Government at Cloncurry Airport, is scheduled to open in mid-2020 and already has the world's largest aerospace group, the Boeing Company, signed up to test their drones," he said.
"Mineral resources will continue to be the mainstay of the North West economy, and the implementation plan sees an ongoing and expanded commitment to drive exploration activities and attract new investment through a new economy minerals package."
Mr Dick said there would also be $13.8 million to encourage exploration to find new deposits for the minerals needed for advanced electronics and renewable technologies, such as cobalt and rare earth minerals, to meet increasing global demand.
"Alongside this, our government is continuing to grow the region with the $110 million Supply Chain Strategy to improve freight handling and efficiency on the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.
"This investment provides $80 million to reduce rail access charges over four years and $30 million to support construction of Port of Townsville's new container terminal."
Mr Dick said the implementation plan also identifies additional economic growth sectors for North West Queensland in agriculture, tourism, and business and industry.
They include fodder production projects, irrigated cropping trials, identification of opportunities for common-user facilities and the development of a global investment attraction program, local government tourism projects, new tourism packages and local action plans to support projects identified by North West communities.
Head of the North West ROC and Carpentaria Mayor Jack Bawden said the implementation plan was a clear path to new investment, jobs and opportunities.
Mr Dick said the total investment in the region is $170 million, including the $110 million supply chain strategy and the $39 million Strategic Blueprint.
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