A great week for Queensland councils just got better with the Federal Government announcing a new $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
Queensland councils will receive just more than $101 million in funding under that program.
We thank the Commonwealth for listening to councils and providing a much-needed economic boost at this critical time.
Queensland councils know the power of their voices when they unite as one.
We were reminded of that power again on Tuesday when councils were front and centre of the first stage of the State Government’s “Unite and Recover” economic recovery strategy, with a $200 million injection of funds under a special COVID-19 Works for Queensland package.
This was a signature initiative contained within the LGAQ’s Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities, a plan drawn up to help you deliver the economic stimulus needed to see your communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused.
Folks, it was not an accident that this initiative was adopted by the State.
Local government is stronger as a sector when we work together.
You showed that with your support for the Battleplan.
You showed it when you submitted your shovel-ready projects.
You showed it when you were prepared to step up and do the heavy lifting when your communities were hurting, despite knowing that it would mean challenges ahead in terms of financial and other decisions to be made.
You united under one banner to fight for your individual communities.
And that perseverance has been rewarded.
Early assessment shows the $200 million package – to be shared by councils statewide – to be one of, if not the single largest new funding initiatives in the package.
This is a vote of confidence from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in the strength of councils to deliver the real jobs and economic activity that will help Queensland navigate what is shaping up to be one of the most challenging global recessions.
We must also again give credit to the Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, who threw her 100 percent support behind our Battleplan from the start.
This type of bold commitment demonstrates how strong councils look when they come together with a plan, and how valuable they are as a sector and a partner in delivering for local communities.
Councils are proven and reliable.
We are already on the frontline, we are already in this fight and we are on the same side when it comes to wanting our communities, industries and economies to not only recover but be stronger than before.
Councils will not just benefit from the $200 million in COVID Works for Queensland funding. Local government will be able to share in $50 million of funding for tourism infrastructure being made available to the industry – funding also requested in the Battleplan.
The Government also announced the latest round of successful projects under its Building our Regions program and $400 million in new road, bridge and pavement sealing work.
But there is still much councils can do, through other valuable initiatives, to fuel the recovery.
The Premier has said this week’s announcement is just the start. We will continue to work with the Government to ensure other valuable Battleplan initiatives, like the Green Army, are included in future rounds.
This year heralds the start of a new decade and the start of a new term of local government in Queensland.
It will also see the LGAQ celebrate its 125th year.
As a sector (and as an association) this is not our first rodeo.
When councils work together and unite to back the things that matter our voice is as powerful as our reach is wide and deep.
These trying times provide the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that our unity is our strength and our recovery will be our reward.
The LGAQ remains committed to supporting this unity to enable each of our members to deliver for their local communities.
We do this as your peak body because when the State and Federal governments work in partnership with local councils, community is the winner.