Budget delivers job help
IN LIGHT of the recent state budget, the Minister for Local Government is doing a whirlwind tour of regional Queensland to connect with local mayors and discuss funding headed towards their area.
Mark Furner met with Mayor Paul McVeigh on Tuesday morning to announce that the Western Downs is receiving $2.59million for local jobs.
Mr Furner said Cr McVeigh was excited at the prospects the money would provide.
"In his view this $2.59million will generate hundreds of jobs in the region and he thanked the Labor Government for that injection of funds,” Mr Furner said.
That funding is part of the Palaszczuk Government's $200million Works for Queensland program, an initiative to encourage local governments to assemble shovel-ready infrastructure plans to support local jobs and businesses.
Mr Furner said funding was divided up throughout the state based on needs, and that the Western Downs is currently in a strong position.
"There's 77 councils across the state and we base the funding on needs, population and unemployment,” he said.
"Cr McVeigh indicated he has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state... they're doing some amazing things out here in the Western Downs Regional Council.”
Mr Furner said the council will have up to two years to plan and scope their infrastructure commitments and planning, easing the pressure and allowing them to put the money where it matters.
The Minister noted that Cr McVeigh spoke quite frankly about the solar industry, it's possibility for growth and a potential avenue for the funding.
"It's one of the reasons why we have a strong interest in this region,” Mr Furner said.