jackie trad
jackie trad

Premier’s call on minister for NQ

DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad has backed in NQ Labor MPs as "strong" representatives as government remains noncommittal on a cabinet reshuffle to provide a dedicated voice for the region.

Ms Trad said she acknowledged North Queensland's yearning for a dedicated voice for the region in government but said any appointment of a minister for North Queensland was a matter for the Premier.

"There is a very strong level of advocacy for our regions in the Labor caucus and in our Cabinet … we do know that we have a really big state and getting the representation mix right is important," she said.

"I acknowledge what Townsville and Townsvillians are saying in relation to it, but one of the really exciting things is bringing the Parliament to Townsville so that is going to be a really good way of engaging and making sure that every state MP is here."

The Premier yesterday revealed Parliament would shift here for a week as early as September.

Ms Trad also waved off any suggestion she was gunning for the top job, instead backing in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for doing a "fantastic job".

"I think she is much loved by the Queensland people, they know that she has their interests at heart and I really love working with her and I love doing the best job I can for Queenslanders," she said.

"I have ambitions to represent my community and keep delivering budgets that keep delivering surpluses."

On the regional economy, Ms Trad said Queensland can't take the "foot off the pedal" on infrastructure and industry-attracting projects.

"We know that what we committed to has been working, we've seen unemployment go down in regional communities, we've seen industry being attracted to Queensland," she said.

"All of these things tell us that what we are doing is having an impact on regional economies so we can't take our foot off the pedal."

It comes as the State Government continued to shine the spotlight on its burgeoning love affair with the North West Minerals Province.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham was in Mt Isa yesterday spruiking the province as the future "cobalt capital" of Australia. Ms Trad said the focus on the province, which contains about 75 per cent of Queensland's base metals and minerals, arose from long-term advocacy from Townsville MPs and Katter's Australian Party state leader Robbie Katter.

"This focus is really about continuing to ensure that there is a strong economic future for the North and the North West Minerals Province is key to that," she said.

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