Federal Budget 2021: How it impacts Rockhampton
A major cash splash on an iconic project is a key outcome of the Federal Government's 2021 Budget for Rockhampton residents.
An extra $7.5m has been earmarked for Rookwood Weir as part of a $98m injection over three years under the National Water Grid Fund, formerly known as the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
This brings total project funding to $183.6m for the Weir.
Rockhampton residents will benefit from a pre-Budget announcement of $400m for the Bruce Highway, from Rockhampton to Gladstone and Mackay to Proserpine, covering floodproofing, safety improvements and reducing congestion.
The Budget papers did not show any specific allocations for the Peak Downs Highway.
The Rockhampton area has been included in the government's previously announced "four regions of growth" - which will secure targeted assistance to build economies of scale, encourage private investment and grow key regional industries.
Rockhampton forms part of the Cairns to Gladstone region of growth, flagged as an "agriculture, aquaculture and manufacturing precinct".
Our region should benefit from broader funding pledges including:
- A share in $630.2m for high-quality services for the elderly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other special needs groups.
- The region's natural beauty will be on display as part of a $348m plan to boost the attractiveness of regional Australia as a place to live and work.
- The Rebuilding Regional Communities Program will allocate $6.1m nationally to help restart and support community-led activities that were restricted during COVID-19.
- People living in our area will also be able to stay in contact under a national $84.8m Regional Connectivity Program. The cash boost is set to deliver improved broadband and telecommunications to more than 80 locations across regional Australia.
- The government will spend $1bn nationally to extend the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to 2022-23. This will support regions like ours through the upgrades of local roads, footpaths and community infrastructure.
- A further $1bn will be provided for projects that will upgrade roads and save lives.
- The region's farmers and community will get a share of $172.5m under the $5bn Future Drought Fund to adopt better risk management practices and new technologies.
- Locals will also benefit from the expansion of the government's $1 billion Building Better Regions Fund. An extra $250m will be added for a sixth round, aimed at building stronger communities by creating more jobs, economic growth and infrastructure.