Jobs on horizon as State gifts council $4 million windfall
WHAT would you spend a $4 million windfall on?
This is the question facing Gympie Regional Council thanks to $4 million being delivered by the State Government in an effort to drive the post pandemic recovery.
The council has until next Friday to lodge its list of projects.
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Mayor Glen Hartwig said a list of priority projects will be taken to the council for endorsement.
"Once the list is confirmed, council will publicise it to ensure the community is kept up to date," Mr Hartwig said.
Projects on an earlier list of shovel-ready work the council was seeking funding for included upgrades to Kilkivan's Equestrian Centre, improvements to the region's RV parks, and stage two of the Amamoor Rail Trail.
It is understood the planned Monkland Transfer Station at Laurenceson Rd, also on the list, would cost too much for what the state has offered.
All projects must be finished by June 30 next year.
Works previously funded by the program include upgrades to Albert Park, the Rainbow Beach viewing platform, and the Mary Valley Rattler.
Mr Hartwig said the injection arrived at a "vital time".
"We are working on the budget which will allow projects that may not have been approved, due to our financial position and the implications of COVID-19, to now be delivered for the community," he said.
"Thank you to the state and the Minister for Local Government for their understanding and continued support.
Gympie received the 14th highest slice of the $200 million pie.
Under the funding guidelines the council is not required to co-contribute to any projects funded by the program, but it "may contribute directly to projects at their discretion".
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would have an enormously positive impact on the regions.
"The allocation … to Gympie Regional Council will see projects delivered that will have long-term economic benefits and increase liveability," she said.
"I know Queenslanders are resilient, but our government also recognises how difficult it has been for the regions with economic hardship and unemployment in the wake of this pandemic.
"COVID Works for Queensland funding will provide a huge lift for employment opportunities, local economies, and most importantly community spirit."