Did Barry's $200m Ring-Road Budget wish come true?
MEMBER for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke yesterday ticked off the big-ticket items on his State Budget wish list with the highlight being $200million for the $1billion Rockhampton Ring Road.
"Between Rookwood Weir and the Ring Road, Rockhampton is definitely getting its fair share,” MrO'Rourke said in an exclusive pre-Budget release to The Morning Bulletin.
"Being a regional community, we need to invest in delivering infrastructure and services, so that families get access to quality education, health and transport services.”
The Federal Government has committed $800million for the Ring Road project.
There was also another $2.5million for the new Rockhampton Art Gallery and a further $88million for the Capricornia Correctional Centre upgrade.
"We are delivering better schools, better roads and better hospitals,” MrO'Rourke said.
Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the Budget would focus on regional jobs and building a strong economy.
"The Palaszczuk Government is listening to community concerns and working hard to respond to our priorities,” MrsLauga said.
"We want to ensure our local communities have a strong voice in government and we're committed to delivering what the people of Central Queensland need and deserve.”
Mrs Lauga said schools were among the big winners in the State Budget.
"State schools are great schools and in recent years we have seen strong enrolment growth at public schools right across Queensland.
"We are making record investments in education infrastructure and as a result, more than $11million has been allocated to Central Queensland schools.
"That funding will see a new building constructed at Parkhurst State School delivering six new classrooms and two specialist learning spaces.
"Not only is this a tremendous boost to public education in Queensland, our ambitious infrastructure program has the added benefit of creating jobs in the state's construction industry,” MrsLauga said.
Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Budget backed local jobs and put in place a clear economic plan for the future that backed regional Queensland jobs.
"In this Budget - in the face of slowing national economic conditions - we make the choice to back Queensland jobs and invest in our regions,” MsTrad said.
"Since 2015, we've invested $29billion in infrastructure outside Greater Brisbane.
"That's almost 70 per cent of our entire capital spend invested in strengthening regional economies.
"As a direct result of our job-generating infrastructure investment the gap between unemployment in the regions and SEQ is narrowing.
"And in the past year alone regional Queensland jobs are being created twice as fast as the population is growing.