The peak body representing Queensland councils has welcomed the announcement of the latest round of community infrastructure projects to be funded under the successful Works for Queensland program.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the new projects continued to demonstrate the value to Queensland communities of this successful program, which has supported more than 22,000 jobs since its inception.
While the current allocation is welcome, Mayor Jamieson called on the Queensland Government to restore the full funding value of Works for Queensland into the future, to ensure the 65 eligible regional councils and their communities continued to receive the support they need.
“This partnership between the Queensland Government and councils has been incredibly successful and widely championed by local government right across the State, due to the jobs that it has supported, the benefits to local businesses and the contribution it has made to improving the liveability of regional communities,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It was designed to address high unemployment across regional areas of the state and it has demonstrated clear results in this regard, with four funding rounds to date, more than 2,300 approved projects and 22,000 jobs supported or created.
“This has been a clear case of demonstrated value – with Works for Queensland, the proof has well and truly been in the pudding.
“Our councils across Queensland believe it is vital that certainty of funding levels for Works for Queensland is maintained and that the Queensland Government adequately funds the program so it continues to make a difference across communities where it is needed most.”
Works for Queensland has historically been funded at $100 million a year, but this is due to drop to $70 million in 2022-2023 and then to $30 million in 2023-2024 over the life cycle of the funding commitment made by the Queensland Government in the lead up to the 2020 State Election.
Modelling shows 1,500 fewer jobs will be created and supported unless the State moves to ensure the program funding is maintained at $100 million each year going forward.
Mayor Jamieson said Queensland councils last year unanimously voted in support of a resolution for the funding of Works for Queensland to be maintained at this level.
This request is front and centre of the LGAQ’s State Budget submission, which was provided to the Queensland Government in March.