STATE BUDGET: Butcher's take on what it means for Gladstone
JOBS, health and education are the big selling points for Central Queensland in the 2019 state budget as the State Government looks to keep regional Queensland onside following a recent backlash at federal level.
Gladstone scored $16.8 million in new funding initiatives including significant amounts for infrastructure projects.
The Central Queensland area received $1.1 billion for infrastructure, $662.8 million for health and $43.7 million for education.
It's expected the $1.1b in infrastructure funds will support around 3600 jobs in CQ in 2019/20.
Funding highlights for Gladstone include $1.72m for education, $287,243 as a part of a $861,727 commitment over three years to provide mental health funding program services and just over $9m for further infrastructure at Auckland Point and Port Central.
The Gladstone Area Water Board fish hatchery will receive $5.283m out of a $6.663m investment to build a new facility at Awoonga Dam over two years.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the state government was "continuing on delivering for Gladstone."
"We always said we'd deliver on health, education and job opportunities and that's what we are doing," Mr Butcher said.
"Now with the $19m hydrogen strategy going forward that could potentially be the next LNG industry."
Deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad kicked off her budget address by stating that "when our regions do well, all of Queensland does well".
Ms Trad also mentioned "regional Queensland" on numerous occasions during her speech as the Queensland Government looks to avoid a regional Queensland backlash felt by its federal Labor counterparts at last month's election.
"The deputy premier said several times in her address that this was a jobs package for regional Queensland," Mr Butcher said.
"If you look at last year's budget the infrastructure spend was more than the southeast Queensland spend.
"Regional Queensland is obviously important and the deputy premier is quite aware - particularly in places like Gladstone, Mackay, Cairns and Townsville - (they) are major contributors to the Queensland economy in what they export and also the mining industry around central and north Queensland.
"People keep saying to me we need to get something back...In the last few budget's we've shown the government is prepared to give money back to regional Queensland."
Mr Butcher anticipated Gladstone would "get a fair slice" of the $19m in Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy funds to "help generate those pilot facilities and ongoing opportunities down the track for large scale projects". He also defended the 2.5 per cent royalty increase for the LNG sector.
"At the end of the day the LNG companies are taking a natural resource out of the ground Queenslanders own and exporting it overseas for large amounts of money," Mr Butcher said.
"So a small increase in their royalties helps us build the things like we are seeing in Gladstone - school classrooms, hospitals - so I think it's a reasonably modest rise.
"We need to make sure they continue to give back to the state in the way of royalties."
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive Andrew McConville said there was no justification for the decision to penalise the industry.