Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph
Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Banana Shire mayor’s thoughts on federal budget

Road funding and aged care announcements from the federal budget have been welcomed by a Central Queensland mayor, but much of this region’s funding push will come in the lead-up to the upcoming election.

While there haven’t been many significant federal budget announcements for the Banana Shire, Mayor Nev Ferrier thinks there will be benefits to his region with the funding given to surrounding areas.

He welcomed the funding for road upgrades in Central Queensland.

“There’s $400 million on the Bruce Highway, and a lot of that’s going to be spent between Gladstone and Rockhampton, which is great,” Cr Ferrier said.

“Looks like they are looking after our roads again, which is a big part of our spending.”

Cr Ferrier also welcomed the additional funding for aged care, which totals about $17.7 billion nationally.

“We are looking for only to be put into aged care facilities,” he said.

“The money coming into that is going to be a great benefit, I believe.”

He said the Banana Shire had been going very well with Building Better Regions funding, which was given $250 million more in this budget.

As one of the seven mayors as part of the Queensland Beef Corridors advocacy group, Cr Ferrier said they could keep pushing for more upgrades to these freight routes in the lead up to the next federal election.

These include the Alpha-Clermont Road, the Dawson Developmental Road (Springsure to Tambo), among others.

And there’ll be $3.5 billion for the national water grid fund, and Cr Ferrier said there were weirs the council wanted built on the Dawson River.

“They’ve put a few dollars in to try and get people on in apprentices again,” he also said.

One of his concerns is the national debt that Australia will have accumulated after the COVID pandemic comes to an end.

The Banana Shire Council will discuss the budget further with the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils at a later date, and the council plans on handing down its budget at the end of June.

“Not really disappointed, as long as there’s funding for roads, is a big thing for us,” Cr Ferrier said.