The Burdekin is a diverse electorate centred around the agricultural land around Ayr and Home Hill, stretching from the southern suburbs of Townsville to Clermont and Middlemount in the south-west, incorporating the towns of Ayr, Home Hill, Bowen, Collinsville, Glenden, Nebo, Moranbah, Dysart, Clermont and Middlemount. With access to some of the best recreational fishing, wetlands and sporting facilities in North Queensland, coupled with great weather and job opportunities, our lifestyle is second to none.
On the 26th of May 2017 we received advice that due to the Electoral Re-distribution, the boundaries of the Burdekin Electorate had shifted considerably, effectively doubling the electorate in land size. In the redistribution the Burdekin electorate lost the southern suburbs of Townsville and gained the western mining towns of Moranbah, Clermont, Coppabella, Nebo, Glenden, Dysart, Middlemount and everything in between. These areas are both rich in minerals and agriculture making the new Burdekin Electorate one of the most diverse electorates in the State.
The Burdekin electorate encompasses the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) located south of Townsville, is Australia's tropical marine research facility and internationally renowned. Nearby attractions are Billabong Sanctuary and the Cromarty-Clevedon Wetlands at Wongaloo Regional Park, which is a recognised wildlife, waterfowl and flora habitat for numerous local and migratory bird species. Divers from all over the world also come to explore the Yongala wreck, which is located off Alva Beach. Our region is a mecca for backpackers and grey nomads who constantly return to enjoy our region's natural beauty, warm local hospitality and relaxed lifestyle.
The mighty Burdekin River separates the towns of Ayr and Home Hill with water from the Burdekin Falls Dam providing essential irrigation for farmers. The Burdekin is the largest sugar-producing area in Australia, crushing over 8 million tonnes of sugar cane at the four Wilmar-owned mills at Invicta, Pioneer, Kalamia and Inkerman. The Bowen-Gumlu horticultural areas contribute more than $400 million to the $9 billion Australian horticulture sector - it is the largest winter-growing region in Australia and employs around 3,200 skilled and unskilled workers each year. The Burdekin also has an established aquaculture industry with Pacific Reef Fisheries producing premium black tiger prawns and cobia for domestic and overseas markets.
After the 2017 Electoral Border Redistribution the number of mines that operate in the electorate grew substantially with the shifting of Burdekin’s boundary - QCoal's Sonoma Mine and Cows Mine, Drake Mine, Glencore's Collinsville Coal Mine and the Evolution gold-silver-copper mine at Mount Carlton, inland from Gumlu. With the edition of the western mining towns the electorate now also encompasses a number of mines around the Isaac Regional council area including BHP, Glencore and Q Coal just to name a few. The expansion of the Port of Abbot Point and proposed developments in the adjacent Bowen-Gallilee Basin is crucial for the survival of towns like Bowen and Collinsville. One of the best dam locations - the Urannah Dam - has the capacity to potentially irrigate 30,000 hectares of land around Collinsville; open up additional agricultural land in the region; and provide water for the Abbot Point State Development Area. We have untapped potential for expansion here in the electorate, which will provide the boost to agricultural production, jobs and our local and state economies.
I believe Burdekin is truly a powerhouse electorate with a diverse range of industries including a multitude of agriculture and horticulture including sugar cane, small crops and livestock to the Industrial and mining industries.
Dale is proud to have been elected to represent the vibrant Burdekin electorate in State Parliament and in his first term to be appointed the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, but most recently appointed the Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and the Shadow Minister for Northern Queensland.