It’s time to make a fair dinkum commitment to CQ, Joe

HEARING Joe Hockey say boosting tourism was vital for the government was music to Bill Ludwig's ears.

The Livingstone Shire Mayor was also pleased to see almost $1.4billion for disaster relief funding for Queensland and a $5billion focus for Northern Australia in the Federal Budget.

But Cr Ludwig won't see these things as positive unless the Federal Government gives "a fair dinkum commitment" to Category D funding for Livingstone, Rockhampton and surrounding areas hit hard by Cyclone Marcia.

With in-principle agreement from the State Government on Category D, Cr Ludwig said it was Central Queensland's turn to have the same level of focus as areas like Townsville and Airlie Beach.

Cr Ludwig said the Yeppoon foreshore development and finalising of the Emu Park Centenary of Anzac precinct would allow the region the "wow factor" when it came to tourism.

He said it would also boost the economy through job creation and help generate private-sector interest.

"Category D has always been able to be applied to economic recovery as well as mitigation," Cr Ludwig said.

He said any suggestion the funding should not be applied to economic recovery was "absolute nonsense".

While there was a glimmer of positivity in those announcements, Cr Ludwig said he was disappointed the freeze on the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to local governments, announced last year, was not reversed.

He said the collective results of that decision would have long-term implications for Livingstone Shire and other councils.

Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow expressed the same sentiment. She said it was disappointing that more funding was not announced for water storage and dam projects, which were not viable without decent Federal Government buy-in.

Cr Strelow said it was good to see up to $10million for Capricornia streets under the government's Roads to Recovery Fund, but the burden on local governments was still "very strong".

However, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said she was seeking more detail on a breakdown of the funding.

She said she believed the $1.4billion announced in the budget had already been allocated to emergency services, the State Government and councils.



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