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Government unveils $70m regional infrastructure package

The state government has announced that organisations will create hundreds of jobs in Queensland through a new $70 million regional infrastructure program.

Funding will go towards critical initiatives in Central Queensland, Far North Queensland, the south-west, the north-west and Mackay. The money is part of the first round of the wider $200 million Building our Regions program.

Forty-two projects have been allocated funding, with Far North Queensland receiving the lion’s share at $23 million. Central Queensland and areas in Mackay will see $8 million and $5.8 million respectively, while the south-west is set to benefit from $14 million of investment. The north-west communities, including Charters Towers and Burketown, will share $5.4 million.

Dr Anthony Lynham said the initiative, which has federal government and local business support, is crucial for maintaining the sustainability and growth of organisations in regional Queensland.

“Regional communities are the backbone of our economy, and Building our Regions projects will deliver almost 700 jobs in this first round, as well as the flow-on economic development,” he explained.

“Statewide, the government’s $70 million contribution is attracting a further $159 million investment from council and other organisations.”

Job opportunities in Queensland

The Queensland government said the funding will target various projects, many of which are set to create significant jobs opportunities. The schemes could also provide a boost for apprenticeships and traineeships in local areas.

For example, the south-west funding is expected to support in excess of 120 workers across eleven ventures. The highest-value initiatives are a $5 million water treatment plant in Chinchilla and $3 million worth of flood mitigation services at Roma.

In Far North Queensland, 14 projects will create approximately 190 jobs. Nearly $5 million will go towards Karumba, while a similar amount is being spent on upgrades Port Douglas.

Central Queensland is using the largest proportion of its funding for a $4.25 million scheme at Rolleston’s Carnarvon Gorge Road. Meanwhile, Cloncurry and Burketown in north-west Queensland will receive $1.95 million and $1 million respectively.

Furthermore, this funding only constitutes the state government’s share of the proceedings, with federal government and other financing avenues providing further value.

Applications for the second round of the Building our Regions program are scheduled to open later in 2016.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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