The Palaszczuk government has announced a $33.3 million economic diversification strategy for the region.
Speaking at the North West Mineral Province summit, Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy Implementation Plan 2019-2021 sets out actions to deliver 13 diversification initiatives.
"We have done the necessary work to develop a blueprint and a strategy to investigate and prioritise initiatives to diversify and grow the economy," Mr Dick said.
"This implementation plan is the culmination of that strategic work."
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Mr Dick said there would be $5 million allocated to the blueprint and a further $28.3 million of new funding to deliver initiatives to boost jobs and prosperity for the region.
Mr Dick said the funding includes $14.5 million for Australia's first commercial drone-testing facility in Cloncurry with Boeing signed up to test their drones.
"Mineral resources will be the mainstay of North West Queensland, and the implementation plan sees an expanded commitment to drive exploration activities and attract new investment through a new economy minerals package."
Mr Dick said there would also be $13.8 million to encourage exploration to find new deposits for the minerals needed for advanced electronics and renewable technologies, such as cobalt and rare earth minerals, to meet increasing global demand.
"We are growing the region with the $110m Supply Chain Strategy to improve freight handling and efficiency on the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line. It provides $80m to reduce rail access charges over four years and $30m for Port of Townsville's new container terminal."
Mr Dick said the implementation plan also identifies growth sectors for North West Queensland in agriculture, tourism, and business and industry.
They include fodder production projects, irrigated cropping trials, opportunities for common-user facilities and the development of a global investment attraction program, local government tourism projects, and new tourism packages.