Qld offers tips on scoring a slice of the infrastructure pie

The seminar, which took place on Monday, saw approximately 180 business contractors and companies from the Townsville region attend the forum.The state’s Bligh government said the initiative was part of its efforts to ease the local impact of the global financial crisis. The seminar took place at the Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE on Monday. Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry Desley Boyle said the workshop had been organised by her department and the Industry Capability Network Queensland – an industry advocacy group – to help businesses maximise their opportunities in the current economic downturn. Boyle said before the event that organisers were encouraging representatives from the construction, manufacturing, engineering, retail and service sectors to attend. “There are a great deal of infrastructure projects going ahead in north Queensland and the state government wants to help business owner-operators to take advantage of some of the lucrative contracts on offer,” she said. “These projects include the expansion to the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre expansion, the Abbot Point X110 expansion and the Cairns Hospital upgrade.“The reality is that many local Townsville companies are geared towards servicing one or two specific industries, making them vulnerable during an economic downturn.” Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland Craig Wallace opened the workshop.Speaking during the opening, he said the workshop would also provide in-depth information on local industry policy, Queensland government projects and a range of current and proposed infrastructure activities. “The Bligh government is committed to pressing ahead with a $17 billion capital works plan for 2009,” Wallace said.He said the half-day forum would feature guest speakers from the Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry, the Townsville City Council, the Department of Main Roads, the Port of Townsville, Manufacturing Skills Queensland and the Industry Capability Network.Following Monday’s workshop was a jobs summit attended by the premier, Boyle, Wallace, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser and some of north Queensland’s business and industry leaders with the aim of discussing the economic challenges facing the region. Wallace said the business community in north Queensland had shown great interest in working with government to steer the region through the global financial crisis.

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