The $70 million critical regional infrastructure fund from the Palaszczuk Government is being fast-tracked by six months. This will boost economic growth and increase the number of jobs in regional Queensland.
The second funding round will be open for applications on 4th April. Local councils are encouraged to start thinking about suitable projects before the local government elections next month.
According to Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, the funding was part of the $200 million Building our Regions program of the Queensland Government. This program was made to support jobs, improve the liveability in regional communities and to foster economic development.
“We want councils to get the ball rolling on applications for eligible infrastructure projects that will benefit their communities through real jobs and long term economic opportunities.” – Dr Anthony Lynham
Lynham said that they have streamlined the application process as requested by the Local Government Association of Queensland. For this round, the initial requirement from councils will only be an expression of interest (EOI). Lynham’s department will then assess the EOIs, shortlist projects, then give the councils four weeks to prepare their project’s detailed business case.
The first round of the Building our Regions program has already been making a difference in regional communities. There are 44 jobs being supported with two more projects underway in Kowanyama and Bundaberg.
Currently, there are 11 agreements that have been signed by council and another 31 which is in development. Tenders for the Bundaberg Region Multi-use Community and Sports Centre as well as for the Miriam Vale Water Treatment Plant have already been awarded.
“In the coming months we will see tenders called for the Mission Beach Aquatic Facility, Enabling Aged Care in Mossman and the Julia Creek Membrane Bioreactor Sewage Treatment Upgrade which could create an extra 27 jobs.” – Dr Anthony Lynham
Lynham states that the Building our Region program is effective because it encourages additional financial investment in local communities as well as regional collaboration.
Image source: Department of State Development
“Regional communities are the backbone of our economy and bringing this funding round forward will give regional areas a boost where it is most needed.” – Dr Anthony Lynham
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Author's note: Original article is from The Queensland Government website