The Palaszczuk Government’s $70 million critical regional infrastructure fund has been accelerated by six months to stimulate jobs and economic growth in regional Queensland.
Applications for the second funding round will now open on Monday 4 April and local councils are being encouraged to start thinking about eligible projects before next month’s local government elections.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the funding was part of the Queensland Government’s $200 million Building our Regions program to support jobs, foster economic development and improve liveability in regional communities.
“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 Lynham said.
“As well, we have listened to the Local Government Association of Queensland and streamlined the application process.
“In this round, councils will only initially need to prepare an expression of interest. My department will assess those EOIs, shortlist projects and then give councils four weeks to prepare a detailed business case for their project.”
Dr Lynham said the first round was already making a difference in regional communities.
“Building our Regions is already supporting 44 jobs with two projects underway in Bundaberg and Kowanyama,” he said.
“So far, 11 agreements have been signed by council and 31 agreements are currently in development.
“Tenders have already been awarded for the Bundaberg Region Multi-use Community and Sports Centre and the Miriam Vale Water Treatment Plant.
“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.
“The Building Our Regions program is effective because it encourages regional collaboration and additional financial investment in local communities.
“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.”