$12.1 million funding boost for CQ
COMMUNITIES across Central Queensland are set to receive minor facelifts as part of the state’s massive $200 million COVID-19 economic recovery package.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week announced a renewed COVID Works for Queensland program, revealing the region would stand to benefit from its share of more than $12 million.
Under the funding initiative, Rockhampton will receive nearly $6.5 million injected into its council’s pockets.
A further $2.5 million will be awarded to Livingstone Shire Council, while Central Highlands Council is granted around $2 million and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council received just more than $1 million.
Early discussions suggest libraries, bikeways and footpaths, caravan parks, sport and recreation facilities and critical water sewer and waste management infrastructure throughout the region would likely benefit from the cash splash.
Premier Palaszczuk said while Queenslanders were resilient, the crisis proved a difficult time for many, noting the program’s ability to revive local job markets and economies.
“The allocation of $12.13 million to councils across Central Queensland will see projects delivered that will have long term economic benefits and increase liveability in our communities,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow praised the State Government for its continued investment in the program during the unprecedented times.
“The Works for Queensland program already makes a huge difference to our community in ordinary times, so we are thrilled to receive $6.44 million during COVID,” Cr Strelow said.
“The flow on effects from this investment will have a very real and positive impact on our community.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the additional funding would undoubtedly help councils get local communities back on their feet.
“In the past three years, we have seen how incredibly successful the Works for Queensland program has been throughout regional Queensland, delivering more than 19,000 jobs and counting, and now every council will be given a boost to deliver job-creating infrastructure and maintenance projects,” Mr O’Rourke said.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga added Queenslanders had never faced anything like the repercussions from the global pandemic before.
“That is why the Palaszczuk Government has put together the $6 billion economic recovery strategy Unite and recover for Queensland Jobs, of which COVID Works for Queensland is an integral part for our councils and their communities,” she said.
The program will target “shovel-ready” projects to commence shortly after approvals were given and would need to be completed during the 2020-21 financial year.
An estimated 8000 jobs are expected to be created across the state under the program.
Throughout the program’s previous three rounds, the Central Queensland region’s councils have received more $48 million and created or supported about 1740 jobs.
Current funded projects include Rockhampton Hockey Club facilities, McIndoe Park Sportsground lighting upgrades in Emerald, and the refurbishment of the Cooee Bay pool in Yeppoon.