From the Executive Chair
The past couple of weeks have brought about dramatic changes across the nation’s political landscape, with the newly-elected ALP Federal Government now taking shape with its senior leaders and full ministry announced.
Although the ALP and Federal Coalition both saw swings away from them to minor parties and independents, Labor this week learned it will be able to form a majority government in its own right – which is good for the nation’s stability as minority governments are challenging.
Key leaders alongside new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are Deputy Leader and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Penny Wong. The Federal Cabinet and Federal Ministry included a number of new faces and changes in portfolios from the shadow ministerial roles in the ALP pre-election. Read the full list of incoming ministers here:
As well as the new government, the Federal Opposition has appointed its leadership with the Liberal Party appointing Peter Dutton as leader and Sussan Ley as deputy leader. The Nationals also have a new leader with David Littleproud taking charge and Perin Davey as deputy.
We look forward to working with the new PM and federal ministers to ensure the ALP delivers on its considerable list of election commitments to Cairns.
Premier & Health Minister university hospital briefing
The increasing demands on Cairns Hospital and the pathway to gaining university hospital status were central to a meeting this week with QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath at Advance Cairns this week.
The region’s ambitions for Cairns University Hospital have taken substantive steps forward in the past 18 months, with milestones including:
* Land being secured by James Cook University fronting Sheridan St in north Cairns
- Agreement with the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service to purchase some of that land to build a Cairns Health and Innovation Centre (CHIC)
- Confirmation in the federal election that JCU will be allocated 20 Commonwealth Supported Places to teach full medicine degrees in Cairns from next year
As well as increased funding for new beds, Advance Cairns is calling on the State to step up and fund the CHIC building to enable non-clinical activities (eg. teaching, research) to be relocated out of the existing hospital into the new premises.
The State has completed a $1.5m preliminary business case examining the CHIC opportunity and has now funded a detailed business case to confirm demand expectations, facilities required and likely costings.
The new premises, expected to cost more than $150m, will enable the hospital to expand its number of beds and help alleviate regular ambulance ramping and long wait times at the emergency department.
JCU and Cairns Airport leaders joined with Advance Cairns for this week’s meeting with the Premier and Health Minister.
The meeting also discussed opportunities and potential threats for our region stemming from the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, aviation recovery post-COVID and the newly announced common user facility to be built at Cairns Port.
Breakfast with economic experts
There are still a handful of tickets remaining for next Tuesday’s economic breakfast to hear what the wild ride ahead means for our country.
With a new Federal Government, rapidly rising inflation, war in Ukraine, increasing interest rates, nationwide skills shortages, tourism bouncing back and huge federal infrastructure investment still to come post COVID, only the experts can help us understand how the region will navigate the choppy waters ahead.
Hear from senior Melbourne-based ANZ economist Catherine Birch and FNQ’s leading economic commentator Pete Faulker (Conus Business Consultancy Services) at this exclusive Advance Cairns Economic Breakfast.
Follow the link below for your last chance to secure a seat.