More than $59 million in newly announced funding will go toward important infrastructure projects, helping support thousands of jobs in Queensland.
The state government said the initiatives are key to unlocking growth potential and development opportunities. Named the Catalyst Infrastructure Program, the scheme enables local councils and private organisations to seek co-investment funding for various ventures.
Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, said crucial development projects are often bogged down because appropriate water supply channels and roads are lacking.
She said the Catalyst Infrastructure Program should solve this problem, allowing councils to kick-start mothballed schemes.
The fund is just part of $10.1 billion of infrastructure finance available in the 2015-16 financial year, which is expected to support 27,500 jobs. Apprenticeships and traineeships could also receive a boost, with companies keen to expand their ranks to cope with future projects on the books.
According to Ms Trad, the Palaszczuk government’s total capital investment spend will exceed $35 billion when taking into consideration forward estimates.
Catalyst Infrastructure Program criteria
Organisations that wish to receive infrastructure funding must show their projects will accelerate, facilitate or generate economic advantages for Queensland.
Winning applicants benefit from interest-free finance that is repaid over a specified period. The government said this ensures the program will continue to receive money throughout its lifecycle.
“We are now talking to councils and calling for potential co-investors to speak to us about what projects they would like to see funded through the Catalyst Infrastructure Program,” Ms Trad stated.
“We are looking for shovel-ready projects which demonstrate significant flow-on economic benefits for the community.”
In July, the Queensland government unveiled its comprehensive plans for infrastructure funding, outlining core investment and job creation areas. For example, the health sector is set to receive $1.3 billion of capital purchases, generating work for 3,500 full-time staff.
“Jobs and economic growth are key priorities … and all councils will be eligible to apply for catalyst infrastructure funding under the program,” Ms Trad stated.
Proponents of the Catalyst Infrastructure Program must pay between 10 and 50 per cent of the direct costs of the projects they intend to commence, as well as commit to beginning building work within a year. Economic Development Queensland has been tasked with delivering the initiative.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator