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November 2019

2019 Annual General Meeting

The 2019 MITEZ AGM and General Meeting was attended by close to fifty people, with members and guests being hosted by Queensland Country Credit Union in their Townsville head office on October 29. 

Among the agenda, guest Speaker, Senator Susan McDonald told members since the release of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, the Australian Government has delivered on 42 of the 51 commitments through an agenda worth $6.2 billion across northern Australia, with nearly $3 billion set aside for the Northern Australia, Beef Roads and Roads of Strategic Importance programs. 

David Glasson was also congratulated as returning President for his thirteenth year.

McKinlay Shire Council Mayor, Cr Belinda Murphy; who will not be standing for the 2020 Council election, was recognised for her contribution to MITEZ and for her work as tourism representative on the Outback Queensland Tourism Authority Board. 

North West Queensland Bio Mass Project 

Another guest speaker at the MITEZ meeting in October; Murray Smith from GHD presented the final report for MITEZ’s Bio Mass Study Remote Area Board funded project.

Murray explained Prickly Acacia as a bio fuel for export had a business case, however is unlikely in the short term without significant government or external funding.

The study identified an opportunity for harvesting of 20-30 thousand tonnes of prickly acacia as a wood chip bio fuel for regional energy use in mining operations and to put back into the grid does exist.

Further research to more accurately drone or satellite survey the density of prickly acacia needs to be undertaken and testing of the effectiveness of the proposed harvesting machine as referred to in the report would also be required to move to the commercial model. However research and ongoing negotiation in this space may turn into a reality to ensure viability for small mining operations such as vanadium processing at Julia Creek. 

An additional bio mass fuel proposed, sterile leucaena being developed by University of Queensland is still ten or twelve years away. 

The final milestone for this project is expected to be met 6 weeks early by mid-December. 

Hughenden Power House Project - Energy Past, Present and Future

Liam O’Brien of Wightman Advisory in conjunction with Carl Valentine of PVW have been appointed as consultants to provide a feasibility report on the redevelopment of the former Ergon Energy power station at Hughenden.

A project reference group has been formed to funnel possible ideas to be incorporated into a unique and exciting education and tourism precinct for the Flinders Shire and as a platform to promote the region as the renewable hub of North Queensland. The second funding milestone for this MITEZ led project is on track for late December 2019, and we look forward to receiving the first draft of the report.

New Regional General Manager Appointed for Queensland Rail

At the October meeting, MITEZ welcomed Wayne Prosser who had recently been appointed to the role of Queensland Rail’s Regional General Manager – North Queensland. Wayne was introduced by Scott Reidel, Executive General Manager Network Queensland Rail.

Previously working at Aurizon, Wayne’s role with Queensland Rail includes overseeing operations on the Mount Isa rail network. 

Scott Reidel provided members and guests an overview of the current status of the line and highlighted how they were able to conduct the repairs to the track after the February flooding. 

Local Leadership Workshop

MITEZ has long seen the need to ensure emerging leaders in the region are given the opportunity to navigate their way, and take the steps towards their leadership goals.

With this concept in mind funding was granted from the Federal Government through the Building Better Regions Fund to host two rounds of leadership based workshops in the North West.

The first round was recently held in Richmond and Mount Isa with 14 and 12 attendees’ respectively.

Facilitator Paul Dahlitz of Business Binoculars proved a hit; with a diverse range of emerging leaders, many of whom traveled hundreds of kilometers treated to a full days agenda. 

At Richmond, attendees included Queensland Police officers from Hughenden, hospital staff, potential Council candidates and even graziers, all enjoying concepts and ideas from dispute resolution to public speaking. The groups were also lucky enough to hear from inspirational speakers including Cr Liz Schmidt, Cr John Wharton, Fr Mick Lowcock, and Senior Sargent Renee Hanrahan. 

Round two will take place in 2020 at venues to be decided, with a big thank you to Richmond Shire Council who hosted a workshop venue and to the speakers mentioned.

MITEZ Management Committee for 2020

Welcoming the MITEZ Management Committee elect for 2020 including:
  • President- David Glasson
  • Mid West Shires- Cr Greg Campbell, Cloncurry Shire Council
  • Secretary- Connie Navarro, Connie Navarro Legal
  • Treasurer- Rebekah Haynes, QCCU
  • Mount Isa City Council- Cr Joyce McCulloch, Mount Isa City Council
  • Townsville City Council- Cr Margie Ryder, Townsville City Council
  • Industry/Mining- Sam Rodda, MMG Dugald River
  • Government Owned Corporations- David Sibley, Port of Townsville Ltd.
At the AGM, MITEZ welcomed the election of Mr Sam Rodda, General Manager of MMG Dugald River Mine; with Sam now filling the Industry and Mining position on the Management Committee, replacing Scott Bowman, Vice President Value Chain and Trading, Incitec Pivot. While Scott decided not re-nominate for the role, he will continue to represent IPL. 

MMG Dugald River Mine have been a member of MITEZ since 2013 and Sam, who is a familiar face around the MITEZ table, offers a valuable link to industry for the Management Committee. 

Building Better Region's Fund

The Federal Government recently announced $200 million in the 2019-20 Budget for Round Four of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

Round Four supports drought-affected regions by targeting projects which will benefit communities affected by drought.

The BBRF invests in projects located in, or benefiting eligible areas outside the major capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

Funding is available through two funding streams:
  • Infrastructure Projects Stream: Supports projects that involve construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure.
  • Community Investments Stream: Funds community development activities including, but not limited to, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, leadership and capability building activities.
Eligibility to apply: Not-for-profit organisation, local government or non-distributing co-operative.

Further information can be found on the Building Better Regions website - 

Remote Area Board Funding Projects

Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastucture and Planning as facilitators of Queensland Government’s Remote Area Board (RAB) funding have announced a late change in the makeup of the funding program.

As a RAB, this change now means MITEZ will need to receive ideas from members for potential projects for RAB funding by January 10, 2020; with final and polished concepts then needing to be submitted to DSDMIP by the end of January.

The timeline for the next RAB funding round is:
  • January 2020 – RAB’s to submit Project Concepts (feedback provided etc) 
  • February 2020 – Project proposals to be submitted
  • March 2020 – PRB to assess proposals
  • April 2020 – Feedback provided and any additional information provided as requested
  • May 2020 – Projects approved/denied
  • June 2020 – FAA fully executed 
  • October 2020 - Project completion
MITEZ members who have ideas for possible RAB projects are asked to please submit details to MITEZ Regional Development Officer Ross Thinee or Chief Executive Officer Glen Graham as soon as possible!

Richmond Shire’s Ambitious Irrigation Project a Step Closer 

Richmond Shire Council has released a prospectus to promote their Richmond Agricultural Project as a sustainable water capture storage and irrigated farming model for the region.

Richmond Mayor, Cr John Wharton said the $210 million project has substantial advantages, making it the most sustainable community-based irrigation project in Queensland with no Native Title issues.

Following construction, there would be an estimated 55 full-time jobs and the potential for many more once future forecast developments such as a cotton gin and feed-lot are established.

Environmental credentials for the project include:
  • No in-river dam interrupting the natural ecological pathway
  • No native tree-clearing due to use of natural grasslands
  • Prickly Acacia, the only trees to be cleared are classified as a pest
  • Working with McKinlay Shire regarding Dunnart conservation
Cr Wharton noted the proposed gravity diversion to an off-river storage would supply 8,000 hectares of irrigated cropping land.

Once issues regarding the approvals pathway have been completed with the Queensland Government then options for financing the project can get underway.

Best Wishes for the Festive Season

With the AGM and final general meeting for 2019 now complete and the end of the year in sight, we at MITEZ are busy completing those tasks that need to be dealt with before we start another year and we imagine you all are in the same circumstances.

There is time on the horizon however to down tools and get away from it all and that’s at the end of December into the new year and we recommend for you to do just that.

So, from us here at MITEZ we wish you all a well earned break and a healthy and prosperous year ahead for 2020 and we thank you for your continued support.

Copyright © 2015 MITEZ INC., All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1258
Mount Isa QLD 4825

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MITEZ Inc · 22 West Street · PO Box 1258 · Mount Isa, Queensland 4825 · Australia

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