Show me the money: $30m jobs package yet to spend a cent
THE Regional Jobs and Investment Package for the Bowen Basin is yet to deliver a cent to Central Queensland.
The pilot project, one of 10 in Australia, was announced in February last year. There was $30 million available for the Bowen Basin, which included Gladstone.
Local governments agencies, not for profit organisations and companies could apply for the grants.
In August last year, Gladstone Regional Council applied for funding to upgrade the Kirkwood Rd and Dixon Dr intersection. The upgrade was costed at $7.68million and the council was chasing 45% of this.
Although no projects have been announced for Central Queensland, last month 21 projects in Geelong were announced through the program.
The Gladstone Observer sent Regional Development Minister John McVeigh questions about when funding would be announced.
A spokesperson for the Minister said announcement of successful projects was expected in the "near future”.
"Applications received for Bowen Basin under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages have undergone an extensive assessment process, involving strong community input,” they said.
"This popular program has received a high volume of quality applications.”
The spokesperson did not answer questions about why it had taken so long or when an announcement for successful funding for Bowen Basin projects would be announced.
Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government Stephen Jones said the LNP had failed to deliver on promised regional funding, "leaving communities in Central Queensland in the doldrums”.
He said it was not good enough and people in the regions were fed up.
"It's clear that Prime Minister Turnbull and his Coalition MPs are taking regional Australia for granted,” Mr Jones said.
Former Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Graeme Kanofski is chairman of the $30 million plan.
Mr Kanofski was unavailable to comment.
"The $220 million Regional Jobs and Investment Packages would help diversify regional economies, stimulate economic growth and deliver sustainable employment,” the minister's spokesperson said.