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LOCAL GOVERNMENT WELCOMES STRONG BUDGET

News Release

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT WELCOMES STRONG BUDGET

Queensland councils will be heartened by today’s State Budget, with funding allocated to major road projects, water infrastructure, telecommunication services and an extended drought relief program.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has praised the Palaszczuk Government for delivering a Budget that focuses on innovation, investment and infrastructure while meeting critical needs of regional communities.

The Budget reflected the priorities proposed by the LGAQ in its pre-Budget submission, including an additional $10 million for the $41 million Community Resilience Fund (CRF) to support disaster mitigation projects, an expansion of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program and an additional $15 million to leverage Commonwealth Mobile Black Spots funding.

The government has also increased the Building Our Regions program funding by $85 million over two years and promised to continue Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) funding at the current level of $70 million a year until 2020.

The Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program (LGGP) has been increased to $46.4 million, $28 million of which is new funding.

The LGAQ is also seeking a formal partnership with Advance Queensland, which received an additional $225 million to grow the innovation sector and poach investment from interstate and overseas.

LGAQ President Margaret de Wit said councils would welcome the Budget, which has responded positively to the LGAQ’s pre-Budget submission.

“The theme in the lead-up to the Budget has been innovation, investment and infrastructure, which is what local government has called for,” she said.

“We’re very pleased to see the government has funded projects that will improve the lifestyles of communities across the state.”

The Budget includes up to $40 million in extra funding towards the Townsville Stadium, a $50 million down-payment on Brisbane’s Cross River Rail and $15 million towards the Cairns Performing Arts Centre.

More than $96 million has been committed over the next five years to upgrade North Queensland roads, with an emphasis on livestock, mining and freight routes.

Money has also been allocated to upgrade water and waste water infrastructure in indigenous communities, including Palm Island, Northern Peninsula Area, Cherbourg, Pormpuraaw, Aurukun and Mapoon. 

Mrs de Wit said she particularly welcomed the government’s commitment to rural and remote communities, with the $41.9 million drought relief arrangements being extended and $11.1 million allocated over four years to manage pest, weed and biosecurity risks.

The LGAQ is also pleased the government has guaranteed that pensioner concessions remain fully funded at a cost of about $56 million per year over and above the state’s existing contributions and off-setting the Commonwealth’s withdrawal of its funding support.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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