Minister Hinchliffe: Works for Queensland delivers
By Stirling Hinchliffe MP - Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs
As we head into the second half of 2019, the State Government will continue to engage with Local Government stakeholders on our ongoing reform agenda.
As Local Government Minister, I’m enormously thankful for the great work councils are doing for residents in communities throughout Queensland.
Councils deliver high quality services that enrich communities and help to drive local economies.
They’ve also proven themselves to be productive partners when it comes to reform, and I reiterate my pledge to work with councils to enhance transparency and accountability.
That’s what ratepayers and residents expect of us.
They also expect us to collaborate when it comes to delivering the infrastructure they need – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Through funding programs such as Works for Queensland and the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program, the success of this partnership is well and truly realised.
In May, I was proud to announce a further 494 projects would be funded under the $200 million third round of Works for Queensland, which councils estimated would create or support more than 4,500 jobs.
No matter how you look at it, this is a win-win for regional communities.
Improved visitor facilities at Crystal Cascades in Cairns, a new reptile enclosure at Rockhampton Zoo, a mini golf facility in Warwick and a new airport terminal in Aurukun are just some of the new projects being funded through this round of Works for Queensland.
These types of projects will have an enormous positive impact on communities by creating local jobs, boosting local economies and increasing liveability in towns and cities right across regional Queensland.
Indeed, we have seen how the first two rounds of this now $600 million program has greatly benefitted all of our councils outside of the south east corner.
The 65 eligible councils have reported that through the first two rounds of Works for Queensland, well over 14,200 jobs have been created or supported, delivering more than 1,360 projects for regional communities.
It is simply a fantastic result.
We have also listened to our councils, and this round again carries a two-year timeframe, allowing them to plan and budget for the workforce needed.
Also in May, I announced the successful projects to be funded under the 2019-21 $58.56 million Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program (LGGSP).
It was great to be able to stand beside Mayor Matt Burnett in Gladstone to deliver the news to the 59 successful councils that they would share in the funding for 81 priority projects.
These projects include a hinterland adventure playground in Cooroy, a community hub in Mareeba, improved water supply security in Home Hill, Hughenden and Bedourie, and resealing the airport runway at Thargomindah.
The LGGSP is designed to support eligible projects that contribute to a connected and liveable community, support economic growth and employment and encourage collaboration and resource sharing between Local Governments.
These 81 projects will do just that.
Finally, as we head towards the back end of the year, I urge all councils to start thinking about what preparations need to be made for the elections in March.
I will talk about this more in the next edition, but we must remember that well-run and cleanly contested elections are vital, in order to continue the strides we have made in restoring the community’s faith in the
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