The Queensland Government is distributing $100 million in funding for shovel-ready community infrastructure projects across the state’s South East, with the boom set to create hundreds of jobs.
Deputy Queensland Premier and Minister for Local Government, Steven Miles, said the councils were sharing $100 million over the next three years through the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Community Stimulus Program (SEQCSP).
“This is part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, to create jobs across SEQ by assisting councils to fast-track investment in new infrastructure,” Mr Miles said.
“We made a commitment during the election to provide an additional $200 million over six years to the 12 councils in the South East.
“We’re delivering on our promise with the rollout of the first $100 million today, which will help councils deliver projects that will stimulate employment, boost local economies and improve communities.”
“In 2020, through the COVID Works for Queensland program and the Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package, the South East councils received $100 million to help deliver 151 projects, which the councils estimate will support or create more than 2,500 jobs.”
Through the SEQCSP, $74 million is allocated to the councils and the remaining $26 million will be distributed on a competitive application basis.
Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley and Somerset
Lockyer Valley Regional Council is receiving $4.03 million, Somerset Regional Council $3.89 million and Toowoomba Regional Council $5.11 million.
Mr Miles said the COVID funding and stimulus has already helped community infrastructure progress, such as a learn-to-ride course at the new Fairways Park in Lockyer Valley, which has been equipped with imitation road signage, pump tracks, dog park, nature play elements, shelters and barbecues.
“Water security upgrades have also been funded including upgrades to the Jondaryan Reservoir, new Trunk Water Mains to meet growth in Meringandan and a new pipeline connection to provide a high reliability treated water supply into the township of Valeview from Toowoomba,” Mr Miles said.
“In Somerset Regional Council we’ve funded sporting facility upgrades including a recycled water pipeline at Fernvale Sports Park to help keep the fields maintained during drought and LED field lighting for Lowood Recreation Complex, Kilcoy Hopetoun Field and Esk Recreation Grounds.”
Sunshine Coast and Noosa
Sunshine Coast Regional Council is receiving $7.01 million and Noosa Shire Council $4.08 million for shovel-ready community infrastructure projects that could create hundreds of jobs.
Member for Caloundra, Jason Hunt, said the program was designed to make an immediate impact on communities including the Sunshine Coast.
“The Sunshine Coast has taken an economic blow during the COVID-19 pandemic so this is great news for our economic recovery” Mr Hunt said.
“We’ve seen Sunshine Coast Council begin to deliver some amazing community assets here already, including the Beerwah Community Meeting place under construction right now, delivering eleven local construction jobs.”
Member for Nicklin, Rob Skelton, said councils could now submit project proposals.
“We’ve already seen the local council take advantage of funding including to deliver park upgrades and community assets across the region,” Mr Skelton said.
Ipswich and Scenic Rim
Ipswich City Council is receiving $6.67 million and Scenic Rim Regional Council is receiving $3.99 million.
Member for Ipswich, Jennifer Howard, said, “We’ve seen some fantastic projects come out of our cooperation with Ipswich City Council.
“We’ve seen upgrades to the façade at the Ipswich Civic Centre, upgrades to the Queens Park Croquet Shelter, and a restoration of Small Creek, all up delivering 12 local construction jobs.”
Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, said similar programs had already made a big impact on the community.
“Queensland’s plan for economic recovery is delivering for Ipswich,” Mr Madden said.
“Previously we’ve provided $1.23 million to upgrade the Suttons Park Skate Park, investing in a vital community asset that will help to bring people together when we need it the most.”
Member for Jordan, Charis Mullen, said, “In Jordan we’ve seen previous joint funding help to upgrade the Andre Ripoll Park, resurfacing the Drag Racing Strip and delivering local employment opportunities.”
Gold Coast City Council is receiving $9.81 million.
Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon, said projects already delivered through the 2020 funding and stimulus package include the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Gawthern Drive and Yawalpah Road in Pimpama to support the establishment of the Pimpama North Primary School.
Traffic signals were also installed at Sunshine Boulevard and Surfers Avenue to address significant traffic growth at the intersection.
Moreton Bay Regional Council is receiving $9.3 million.
Member for Redcliffe and Minister for Health, Yvette D’Ath, said, “Investing in councils is all about investing in communities, here in Redcliffe we will see Moreton Bay Regional Council deliver a segregated bike path in Clontarf which will generate seven local jobs.”
According to Member for Pine Rivers and Assistant Minister for Local Government, Nikki Boyd, earlier funding rounds have aided projects like the construction of Pine Rivers’ Nolan Park BMX Precinct, which supported 40 local jobs during the construction phase.
Member for Bancroft, Chris Whiting, echoed these sentiments, saying that economic recovery in the Moreton Bay is “well and truly underway”, with the Stimulus Program set to create more jobs on top of the 310 already created from previous rounds.
Member for Pumicestone, Ali King, said, “We’ve got a strong record delivering projects and local jobs in cooperation with Moreton Bay Regional Council, for example here in Pumicestone we’ve seen the construction of a new car park for the Bongaree Butterfly House deliver five local jobs.”