The Queensland Government has released a shortlist of 22 projects in 17 remote Indigenous communities in the running for a share of $5 million under the Building Our Regions Program.

Queensland Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the shortlisted projects were for a range of small but critical projects to support jobs and economic development in remote and regional Indigenous communities.

“Small projects can make a big difference in remote communities,” Dr Lynham said.

“This one-off round of funding will kick-start much needed infrastructure in these battling communities.”

The funds come from the government’s $375 million Building our Regions infrastructure program, which has allocated $150 million to 93 critical infrastructure projects, supporting almost 1300 jobs. The projects have jobs attracting a further $275 million investment from councils and other organisations.

The $5 million round for remote and Indigenous councils has a minimum funding threshold of $50,000, allowing councils to propose smaller projects than under earlier rounds of Building our Regions.

“We’ve listened to councils, who told us that they had smaller projects that didn’t meet the minimum threshold of $100,000,” Dr Lynham said.

“We’ve responded to their needs and my Department of State Development (DSD) has worked with council staff to help them identify suitable projects and demonstrate how these projects meet community need and support local economic development.

“The EOIs have been exceptional and the next stage of assessment will be very competitive.

“I urge councils to contact my department for further advice on developing their detailed applications.”

Dr Lynham said he expected successful projects to be released in mid-2017 with construction of these projects expected to start no later than 28 February 2018.

The shortlisted projects include:

North Queensland – One project

Flinders Shire Council is seeking $375,000 to construct a new landfill cell in Hughenden to increase landfill capacity.

North West Queensland – Five projects

North West councils are seeking almost $2.29 million for projects ranging from caravan park expansions to geothermal water reinjection, and building repairs to sewerage upgrades.

The shortlisted projects from the north-west councils are:

  • Croydon Shire Council ­– Croydon Caravan Park Infrastructure Expansion
  • Richmond Shire Council – Richmond Lakeview Caravan Park Redevelopment
  • Winton Shire Council – Geothermal Water Reinjection Infrastructure
  • Mornington Shire Council – Mornington Shire Council Business Building Repair
  • Boulia Shire Council – Boulia Sewer Upgrade Project

“Under previous rounds, Building our Regions has allocated over $2.8 million across six projects—the Donohue Highway Emergency Landing Strip, which is already complete; and the Boulia Reservoir Upgrade and Winton Shire Geothermal Power Generation project, both currently under construction,” Dr Lynham said.

“The remaining three are currently negotiating funding agreements with DSD—Mornington Shire Fuel Facility Upgrade, Mornington Shire Council Service Station Upgrade, and Water Reticulation and Drainage for an Industrial Estate in Richmond.”

Far North Queensland – 11 projects

Far North councils are seeking $4.3 million for projects ranging from a fibre optic network to airport upgrades, sewerage and water upgrades to a management operations base, and from economic development infrastructure to a World War II history trail.

The shortlisted projects from Far North Queensland councils are:

  • Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council – Hope Vale Emergency Water Supply Upgrade
  • Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council – Lockhart River Optic Fibre Project
  • Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council – Bamaga Industrial Subdivision
  • Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council – Pormpuraaw Land and Sea Management Base
  • Torres Shire Council – Weigh Bridge Facility – Horn Island Quarry
  • Torres Shire Council – Horn Island World War II Trail Restoration
  • Torres Strait Island Regional Council – Poruma Airport Waiting Area Upgrade
  • Torres Strait Island Regional Council – Saibai Airport Waiting Area Upgrade
  • Torres Strait Island Regional Council – Mogor Well Pump Station Upgrade
  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council – Yarrabah Sewage Pump Stations Upgrade
  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council – Yarrabah Waste Transfer Station

“Under previous rounds, Building our Regions has allocated $3.56 million across nine projects—the Kowanyama Mechanical Workshop Upgrade, which is already complete; a new water reservoir in Georgetown and the Lockhart River Water Park currently under construction, and the Cooktown Airport Aviation Park which is at design stage,” Dr Lynham said.

“The remaining five projects are currently negotiating funding agreements with DSD—Aurukun Sewer Upgrade, Forsayth Water Treatment Plant, Mapoon Fitness Centre, Outdoor Extension to the Napranum PCYC Building and Pormpuraaw Water Upgrades Project.”

Central Queensland – Three projects

Central Queensland councils are seeking $1.44 million for projects ranging from an active recreation trail, to a new general store and road house, to a new bore and pump station.

The shortlisted projects from Central Queensland councils are:

  • Blackall-Tambo Regional Council – Blackall’s Pathway to Health
  • Barcoo Shire Council – Jundah General Store and Road House
  • Longreach Regional Council – Ilfracombe Bore Water Supply Project

Under previous rounds $762,250 has been allocated across two projects—the Tambo Sawmill Infrastructure Upgrade and Birdsville Caravan Park Redevelopment which are both currently under construction.

Cherbourg – Two projects

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council is seeking $998,950 for revitalising the Cherbourg historical precinct and a second stage of improvements to the Cherbourg Material Recovery Facility, which was previously allocated $499,000 under the previous round of Building Our Regions to handle waste in a safer, more environmentally friendly way.

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