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North Queensland regional plan

North Queensland (NQ) gained its first regional plan in March 2020. The plan provides a 25-year framework to guide growth and support future jobs in the region.

Region at a glance

  • 238,813 people

  • 96,857 dwellings

  • 110,867 Jobs

The region includes the local government areas of:

  • Burdekin Shire Council
  • Charters Towers Regional Council
  • Hinchinbrook Shire Council
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Townsville City Council.

The North Queensland Regional Plan focuses on:

  • expanding health and knowledge industries in and around the Townsville CBD and James Cook University, with potential for a future rapid transport link
  • supporting expanded land-based aquaculture developments to supply domestic and international markets
  • defence industries and future economic opportunities linked with the Australian-Singapore Military Training Initiative
  • supporting the development of agriculture-based energy production, diversifying agriculture and secondary cropping for bioenergy and biopharmaceutical opportunities
  • greater opportunities for tourism development on Palm Island and in conservation areas
  • opportunities for agricultural expansion in upper catchments (balanced with protection of the Great Barrier Reef)
  • nominating opportunities for new renewable energy developments along key corridors and in proximity to major energy users
  • better addressing the resilience of the regional economy to climate change
  • strengthen policy outcomes to support the consolidation of residential development to the Townsville Urban Area .

The Queensland Government developed the regional plan in close collaboration with local councils, traditional owners, state agencies, industry and the community.

The North Queensland Regional Plan overview provides a summary of the regional plan. It includes the five initial catalytic projects which focus on renewable hydrogen, defence, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing and tourism opportunities.

The North Queensland Regional Plan guidance material: development assessment in action is a guide for local governments in assessing development applications within the North Queensland regional plan area.

Last updated: 25 May 2022