Councils in Capricornia will be supported as part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia.
The investment will support local jobs and businesses and boost local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the package included the establishment of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.
The new Program is based on the successful Roads to Recovery program and will enable local councils to deliver priority projects with a focus on upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure.
Ms Landry said accelerating local infrastructure projects was important for supporting jobs and the local economy in Capricornia.
“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Ms Landry said.
“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy across Capricornia it will improve our local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.
“I will be working closely with each council to make sure projects get under way to support jobs and businesses as soon as possible.”
Local road projects to be delivered under the Program include but are not limited to constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting, and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.
A broad range of community infrastructure projects will be eligible including new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, and picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks.
Under the Financial Assistance Grant program the following funding allocations have been made to each council in Capricornia this financial year:
• $1,546,389 for Isaac Regional Council
• $906,477 for Livingstone Shire Council
• $1,956,590 for Mackay Regional Council
• $1,483,455 for Rockhampton Regional Council
• $1,050,537 for Whitsunday Regional Council
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow thanked the Federal Government for confirming the bringing forward of the federal assistance grant.
“We rely on this money heavily. We are particularly pleased with the additional grant which is close to $1.5 million dollars for us,” Mayor Strelow said.
“This funding means we can get more work underway, keeping locals employed and making more improvements our community can benefit from.
“We have a very long list of shovel ready projects ready to go, and when funding is made available like this, it helps give us certainty when it comes to planning and delivering works as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic.”
Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland said Council is considering a number of possible projects and how it could potentially utilise this funding to achieve the best outcome for residents across the Shire.
“Council appreciates the funding support from Ms Landry and the Australian Government towards vital community and road upgrade projects that will help to improve the liveability of our Shire,” Mayor Ireland said.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson welcomed the Federal Government funding announcement.
“The almost $2 million in funding through the new Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program is a welcome boost as council helps lead the community through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ Mayor Williamson said.
“It will help fund important upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure,’’ he said.
“The government’s Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) also provide important funding to local governments each year and it is great to see this program brought forward to help kick-start recovery.”
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said welcomed the funding announcement.
“I welcome our share of the Federal Government funding which exceeds $1.5million and we will be putting the funds to work for priority local road and community infrastructure projects across our region.
“This will keep more locals employed and see the benefits flow into our local communities and businesses, very much needed at this time.
“We have very resilient communities and with this funding it will help us bounce back faster and stronger.
Guidelines for the Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Allocations under the Financial Assistance Grant and Local Road and Community Infrastructure programs can be found at https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci.