The 2019-20 Queensland State Budget – A Budget for Jobs in Regions
The Honourable Jackie Trad MP Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships delivered the Palaszczuk Government's 5th Budget on 11 June 2019. The LGAQ has prepared a media release highlighting key outcomes for local government.
Further to this, an expanded analysis of the 2019-2020 Queensland Budget follows:
Works for Queensland
- The $600 million Works for Queensland program which began in 2016-17 will continue to support local governments outside SEQ by funding job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects relating to assets owned or controlled by local governments. Disappointingly, there is no extra funding allocation in the 2019-20 Budget but it will remain a key advocacy ask of the LGAQ including the extension to all Queensland local governments.
Building our Regions
- Building our Regions received a boost of $70 million over four years, taking the total funding for the program to $515 million for local government regional infrastructure projects. The program supports critical infrastructure in regional areas that meet specific community needs, with a focus on delivering enduring economic outcomes and creating jobs.
Disaster Resilience Program
- The direct cost of recovery and damage to public assets from 2018–19 natural disasters is estimated at $1.3 billion.
- $5.4 million is allocated in 2019-20 to the Queensland Disaster Resilience Fund, a State-funded program delivering $38 million over four years and administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
- The Queensland Reconstruction Authority will also administer the $100 million Betterment Fund to improve the resilience of infrastructure damaged by the monsoon flooding event of early 2019 under the joint State Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, with the fund to be fully allocated in 2019-20 and delivered over three years.
Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme
- This essential local government program will continue at $70 million a year.
LGGSP (Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program)
- $29.4 million for the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program which provides funding for priority infrastructure projects to meet identified community needs and to support projects that will enhance sustainable and liveable communities.
Indigenous Councils Critical Infrastructure Program
- An allocation of $120 million over four years with $28.7 million proposed for 2019/20 and $38.3 million beyond 2019/20. The unallocated $67 million has potential to be allocated to significant local government projects such as the Queensland Indigenous Waste Project.
- $15 million as part of $20 million in total funding to continue coastal inundation mitigation works on five outer Torres Strait Islands, which will protect infrastructure and communities on these islands from rising sea levels and the impacts of coastal inundation.
- Additional $2.7 million in 2019/20 to provide urgent repairs to reservoirs within the Northern Peninsula Area Water Supply System.
- Increased funding of $4 million over three years, from 2020/21 for identified capital renewal and replacement costs of the Northern Peninsula Area Water Supply System, and to support transfer of ownership of the asset to the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.
- Additional $9.1 million provided in 2018/19 for the Paroo Shire Council to upgrade critical sewerage infrastructure.
- Safe and Healthy Drinking Water in Indigenous Local Government Areas has been allocated $9.9 million over four years. Funded internally within Qld Health, to improve the operation and management of drinking water supplies in Indigenous communities to ensure public health is protected.
- Interim Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program includes the provision of an additional $1.3 million in 2018-19, matched by the Australian Government, for the Interim Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program.
- Regional tourism infrastructure projects have been funded such as the $193.5 million Townsville Port channel capacity upgrade, $41.4 million to develop the Wangetti Trail ecotourism walk from Palm Cove north to Port Douglas and $25 million to help industry rejuvenate the Great Barrier Reef Island resorts.
- $12.4 million has been allocated under the Racing Infrastructure Fund to assist the Queensland racing industry improve racing infrastructure across the State.
Other Funding Measures
Waste management and resource recovery
- $5 million over four years for Biofutures, supporting delivery of the Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
- $1 million over two years towards developing a Resource Recovery Industries Roadmap and Action Plan.
- $5 million is being invested to implement waste reforms for Queensland under a new waste management and resource recovery strategy. This includes $4 million to remove car bodies and scrap metal from islands in the Torres Strait.
- $1 million over two years for the development of a waste management data strategy for Queensland which will be critical in supporting local governments advance waste management activities.
- Funding for public library collections and services will continue at $24.96 million in 2019-20.
- The family literacy program First 5 Forever will continue to be funded at $5 million per annum.
SGFA (State Government Financial Aid)
- Funding to support indigenous councils provide essential public infrastructure and services to continue at $34.5 million per annum.
Other Telecommunications Infrastructure
- Additional funding of $8.6 million over two years is provided to potentially make high speed and low cost internet available to regional Queensland. FibreCo Qld will utilise the existing Government infrastructure by unlocking spare capacity in government-owned fibre networks.
- Additional funding of $26.9 million over two years from 2018-19 to upgrade the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services regional radio networks and equipment.
- $15 million through the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to support the Sunshine Coast Council in delivering the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable network project.
- $3.4 million investment in South West Queensland Connectivity projects funded through the Building our Regions program to provide high-speed, reliable internet networks to communities in Balonne, Murweh, Bulloo, Paroo and Maranoa.
Regional payroll tax discount
- To support regional businesses and generate jobs, the Government is introducing, from 1 July 2019, a 1 per cent discount on the relevant payroll tax rate for businesses who have more than 85 per cent of their employees outside South East Queensland. Also available to regional business is the increase in the threshold to $1.3 million, training and apprentice rebate, and the new employee rebate.
- $50 million for the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme. This funding provides for the continuation of freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates to help producers and communities that have been affected by drought across the State and for the commencement of Queensland Drought Reform.
- $15 million for the Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme. This funding provides relief to farming customers from fixed charges for electricity accounts that are used to pump water for farm or irrigation purposes during periods of drought ($15 million in 2019-20).
- $5.2 million in 2019-20 for Community Drought Support. This funding provides financial assistance with bills and cost of living to reflect the current needs of those who are struggling in their seventh consecutive year of drought.
- $4.2 million for Land Rent Rebates and Water Licence Waivers. This includes rent rebates for primary production tenures and waiver of annual water licence fees in drought declared local government areas or on individually droughted properties.
- Funding of $200,000 for fodder management.
Resources Community Infrastructure Fund
- Additional funding of $30 million over three years, held centrally, to invest in improving critical economic and social infrastructure across Queensland's resource communities.
Sport and Recreation
- Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019-2029: Additional funding of $25 million over four years, including $10 million for Female Facilities infrastructure projects and funding for programs designed to boost community use of schools.
- Shifting Minds Suicide Prevention Flagship: Additional funding of $61.9 million over four years for a range of initiatives that better support suicide prevention under the Shifting Minds Suicide Prevention Flagship.
Local Government Association of Queensland
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