COVID-19 economic recovery initiatives rolling out in CQ
MUCH like the rest of the world, Central Queensland hasn’t been spared from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but the Queensland Government is now throwing everything at kickstarting the economic recovery process.
Local MPs Barry O’Rourke (Rockhampton) and Brittany Lauga (Keppel), have unveiled a high-level snapshot into COVID-19 economic recovery initiatives across CQ.
Mr O’Rourke said the implementation of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery was already well underway.
“Here in Central Queensland, everyone has done an incredible job managing the health response and keeping up the social distancing to keep our community safe,” he said.
“Across the world, economies have been hit hard by the global pandemic and Central Queensland isn’t immune to the challenges presented by it.
“My number one priority has always been supporting jobs and industry in Rocky, and that’s why I’m really happy to see that the State Government’s $7 billion economic recovery plan already rolling out across Central Queensland.”
Acknowledging that small businesses had struggled a great deal during the pandemic, Mr O’Rourke said the government had rolled out the Small Business Adaption Grant program, supporting 192 CQ small businesses with grants of up to $10,000.
“This money has made a huge difference to helping small businesses work through the challenges they’ve faced in the pandemic, and most importantly meant that many businesses could stay afloat and keep supporting local jobs,” he said.
“We’re also supporting 330 local jobs in CQ by delivering $18.7 million to local councils for infrastructure and maintenance projects through our Works for Queensland program.
“A $95.4m boost for accelerated roadworks will back local jobs and deliver critical road safety improvements, including $35m upgrade to Lawrie St, the duplication of the Capricorn Highway from Rocky to Gracemere – something I’ve fought hard for.”
Ms Lauga said that key to the plan was accelerated investment in industry and infrastructure.
“We’re delivering $650,000 to help small business accelerate commercialisation of their Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS), which supports this critical sector employing around 20,000 people across the State,” Ms Lauga said.
“In addition to that, we know that people are looking for immediate hip-pocket relief of cost-of-living expenses, which is why we’ve been able to deliver electricity and water bill relief for households and businesses, including a $200 rebate for households.
“We’re able to deliver that rebate because Queenslanders own their own electricity assets.
“The path to recovery here in our region is laser-focused on jobs, building the infrastructure our region needs and strengthening our local industry.”