The 2019-20 Queensland Budget features a $12.9 billion capital works program and a goal to create more than 25,000 jobs in regional areas outside of Greater Brisbane.
It includes $5.65 billion on transport including the Cross River Rail, widening the M1 motorway, and upgrading the Bruce Highway.
“The Government also remains committed to rebuilding regional communities impacted by the northern Queensland floods and other recent natural disasters, with a critical element of the Government’s investment focused on improving existing infrastructure to improve the resilience of the state’s communities,” the budget papers said.
Other measures include $19 million over four years for the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy, focused on Gladstone, and $8.6 million over two years to establish a company to quicken internet speed in regional Queensland.
“This is a solid Budget that will go some way to ensuring regional communities in Queensland continue to grow,” Local Government Association of Queensland CEO, Greg Hallam, said.
“However, with the economy far from powering along, it remains tough in those communities and the LGAQ will be looking to this Government to continue to do its bit to support the State’s heartland.”
“Further regional infrastructure pump priming may be required in the mid-term review or the next State Budget if the national economy continues to weaken.”
“Regional communities also face a looming water infrastructure challenge, both in terms of supply and treatment, and the LGAQ will want to work with the State to ensure access to safe, reliable and affordable water for all Queenslanders, regardless of where they live.”
Image: Queensland Parliament House by Sheba Also/Flickr