Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her senior ministers have received a roadmap of economic recovery projects spanning the state as Queensland councils outline their local COVID-19 recovery battleplans.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Association had on Friday submitted its list of shovel-ready projects proposed under its $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities to Ms Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe on behalf of its 77 member councils.
Mayor Jamieson said the projects were designed to start stimulating local economies within weeks to provide hope and confidence to local job seekers and businesses, and aid Queensland’s economic recovery now that COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease.
“Councils from the Cape to Coolangatta and out to Quilpie have responded to the Premier’s request and prepared their local plans. They stand ready to work in partnership with the State Government and do the heavy lifting in the fight against COVID-19 from the frontline,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The proposed projects include everything from road upgrades to tourism product offerings that will create an immediate boost and lasting benefit for every part of the state.
“They are the small to mid-sized infrastructure projects that will create work for local contractors and supply chains to keep staff and economies moving.”
Mayor Jamieson said the battleplan’s programs would benefit the construction, tourism, small business and agricultural sectors and, importantly, provide real jobs that can start within weeks.
“These programs will provide apprenticeships and traineeships for those looking to retrain or enter the workforce for the first time.
“They will help Queensland communities not only weather the COVID-19 storm but potentially emerge from it stronger than before.
“Councils will ensure critical stimulus is spent statewide, so no community is left behind.”
Mayor Jamieson said councils had been working hard to provide relief to their local businesses and communities while still providing essential services and safeguarding their 40,000-strong workforce.
With limited revenue sources available to councils, and many also heavily impacted by the COVID-19 public health shutdown, providing essential service delivery and supporting vulnerable households and business had been their priority.
Hundreds of millions of dollars has been either lost in revenues or provided through hardship relief, which severely limits the very significant role councils can play as local agents of economic activity.
“We are not looking for a handout. We want to do more to stimulate our local communities,” Mayor Jamieson said.
The Battleplan, if funded, could create more than 14,000 jobs statewide. Key initiatives include:
- Jobs Recovery Package: A $200 million statewide job creation program modelled on the successful Works for Queensland initiative to support more than 8,000 jobs and hundreds of local projects.
- Green Army: A 3,000-strong workforce focused on protecting and improving the environment across the state for the benefit of critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
- Local Government Apprenticeship and Traineeship Guarantee: Providing 800 new or displaced workers with a guaranteed pathway to gain critical experience and skills.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, Media Executive
Local Government Association of Queensland