‘Shovel ready’ council projects get $5.2m boost
It's hoped the injection of $5.2 million for 'shovel ready' council projects will result in up to 100 jobs for the Gladstone region.
The funding comes from the Queensland Government's $200 million COVID Works for Queensland program and was announced yesterday by Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher and Mayor Matt Burnett.
Water mains and pump stations are a priority for Cr Burnett, as well as upgrades to the Gladstone Aquatics Centre and facilities such as community centres and libraries.
"From my point of view this is the greatest program I have seen delivered by any state government, or any government for that matter, to local government," he said.
It comes as the Gladstone Regional Council counts the cost of the coronavirus pandemic and works toward delivering it's next budget.
``We've lost $150,000 revenue I think from the aquatic facility, we've lost I think it's close to another $1 million in entertainment centre revenue that's down, so Council's taken a significant revenue hit already," Cr Burnett said.
"(There's been) surplus budgets since I've been mayor; I can't see us delivering a surplus budget and I'm sure the community will accept that.
"What we're doing is making sure we can support the community as best we can when we adopt our budget on the 7th of July."
Mr Butcher said the cash boost would see projects delivered in the "shortest time possible" to improve work prospects in the region and speed up the coronavirus recovery.
"What the specialty of giving cash to local councils is that they have local procurement policies," he said.
"This is a great opportunity for local workers and local companies to get a slice of the pie to deliver these projects."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would have an enormous impact on the region.
"While Queenslanders are resilient, it has certainly been a difficult time for everyone and this program will provide a huge lift for employment opportunities, local economies, and most importantly community spirit," she said.
"The allocation of $5.2 million to Gladstone Regional Council will see projects delivered that will have long-term economic benefits and increase liveability in our community."