THE Far North's peak economic body is making it clear to state election candidates what needs to be done to help bring resilience to the region's troubled economy.
Advance Cairns has handed over a five-point wish list to local candidates, identifying increased air services, trade with Papua New Guinea, public sector jobs, the defence force and the marine industry as top economic priorities
The organisation says hundreds of millions of dollars and countless jobs would continue to be lost in the Far North unless action was taken by the next state government to seize emerging opportunities.
Chief executive Stewart Christie said both major parties had made some promising announcements on the campaign trail so far, but more commitments were demanded ahead of the March 24 poll.
"I’d like to see all parties and all candidates get behind this because it’s not just what Advance Cairns is pushing; it’s where the whole region sees its direction and its priorities," Mr Christie said.
"There are many low-cost, high-impact initiatives that could be delivered very easily."
The regional priorities include:
DIRECT flights from China and Singapore.
INCREASING the number of public sector jobs in Far North Queensland.
TURBO-charging trade development and investment between FNQ and Papua New Guinea.
LEVERAGING the numerous economic opportunities presented within the marine industry.
EXPANDING the Australian Defence Force presence in Far North Queensland.