The Burdekin is a diverse electorate stretching 28,344 square kilometres from the expanding southern suburbs of Townsville to Mount Coolon in the south-west, incorporating the towns of Ayr, Home Hill, Bowen and Collinsville. 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.
The Burdekin electorate incorporates the largest military base in Australia, Lavarack Barracks, which is home to some 3,500 personnel. The 4,900-hectare Townsville State Development area at Stuart on the southern outskirts is poised to become the industrial hub of the city, creating up to 2,000 jobs by 2027. Other major employers in the southern end of the electorate are Sun Metals Corporation's zinc refinery, Glencore's Townsville copper refinery and the JBS abattoir at Stuart. 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.
A number of mines operate in the electorate - 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. 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.
Dale is definitely proud to have been elected to represent the vibrant Burdekin electorate in State Parliament and also to be appointed the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Click here to see the Electorate Map or to learn more about what our region has to offer, visit the three Local Government websites (Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council and Whitsunday Regional Council) via the icons at the bottom of Dale's home page.