Mackay not expecting ‘massive project’ cash in Qld budget
MACKAY will likely have to wait until next year's budget to receive a cash injection for shovel-ready projects, Mayor Greg Williamson has warned.
He said "massive project money" was not expected to be on the cards for the region when the Queensland Budget 2020/21 was handed down on December 1.
"I'm expecting money to be allocated to what the government wants to do and that's economic recovery," Cr Williamson said.
"It is not a normal budget.
"You've got to cut some slack to the state and say 'It's going to be very difficult'."
But it is not all doom and gloom.
Cr Williamson said cash for larger economic development projects could be earmarked for the region.
"I'm not hopeful for the traditional funding rounds that we would normally be applying for in our shovel-ready projects, because I think there will be a large focus on bigger projects and economic development," he said.
"I'd be hopeful they would be announcing a continuation of funding for the Mackay Ring Road stage two.
"I'd be hopeful they would be announcing project funding for port redevelopment or port enhancements - those large projects that will enhance our community."
Another item on Cr Williamson's budget wish list was more funding towards the Works for Queensland program.
This funding pool helps regional councils undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects.
Cr Williamson said more shared pathways and boat ramps would be high on Mackay Regional Council's agenda for the funding program.
He said the region was "hopelessly" lacking boat ramps.
"We've got 32 beaches; we could probably put in another 10 to 12 boat ramps in this region and still be not supplying all of the needs," Cr Williamson said.
"Those are the sorts of public infrastructure projects that might not sound like large projects, but they have a great community outcome.
"Those are the things that we would like to see Works for Queensland funding spent on."
Incentives for small business, tourism support and a focus on job creation also rounded out Cr Williamson's list of what he hoped to see in the state's financial blueprint.
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