Newman wants more ADF personnel to call Queensland home

ATTRACTING the defence force, business migrants and shifting government departments will play a large role in boosting the population in Queensland's regions.

How far it will go towards doubling the regional population outside south-east Queensland by 2044 - an ambitious vision from the 30-year Queensland Plan - remains to be seen.

Premier Campbell Newman has revealed he is lobbying the Federal Government for more Australia Defence Force presence throughout the state.

He said he was already in discussions about offering incentives for skilled and business migrants to live in regional Queensland.

"This is about encouraging business migrants, encouraging professionals, people with ideas for economic opportunity to come to the regions," he said.

"There are opportunities that will come up in the future, that we should try and influence to see ADF units being based in Queensland's regional cities."

There are already defence force and training bases outside Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Cairns, Townsville and at Wide Bay.

A committee inquiry feeding into the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia has already suggested more defence personnel should be based in central and north Queensland.

Mr Newman said he would not force public servants to move to regional areas but it would be government policy in the future to decentralise the public service.

He suggested 50% of the public service should be based in the regions when the draft plan was released but it was just one move to populate the regions.

"If a new agency is being established, if there's a change to a role of an agency, then we will look to relocate or to establish in regional cities like the Maryboroughs of this world," he said on Thursday in Hervey Bay.

"But that is not how you double the population of regional Queensland.

"You double the population of regional Queensland by creating jobs and opportunity.

"You double the population by building up those communities with health and social infrastructure and making it attractive to people."

Mr Newman - who drew the ire of the Opposition for his "fly-in fly-out" visit to the Fraser Coast - launched the final version of the Queensland Plan during the Local Government Association of Queensland Regional and Economic Conference.

The 104-page document, though highly technical at times, speaks of being bold and striving for lofty goals for the betterment of the state.

"It is an aspirational document," Mr Newman said.

"But it does have very significant, meaningful targets - stretch targets.

"To say as a state that you're going to double the population of the regions over the next 30 years is a bold, brassy, out-there, make-it-happen sort of thing.

"It's not motherhood, it is fair dinkum, in-your-face, a real target."

Queenslanders want a state where all children have basic literacy and numeracy in primary school.

They want to achieve the narrowest gap between the healthy and the poor through meaningful employment opportunities.

And Queenslanders want to totally close the gap between indigenous and regional Queenslanders and the rest of the state.

They want more people volunteering and showing their community spirit through the mud army, fire fighting, sporting clubs or lending a helping hand to a neighbour.

They believe the regions are the engine rooms of the state and will be critical to Queensland's economy and future.

The 80,000-odd people who had input into the Queensland Plan also believe the state needs to diversify its industries - and take advantage of the people and natural assets - to remain globally competitive.

These are the grand ideals which the Queensland Plan seeks to reduce into achievable goals and targets for the next 30 years.

The plan delves into what success will look like when a goal is achieved and how it will be measured - mostly through surveys and other statistical analysis.

The government will respond to The Queensland Plan later in the year.

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