Councils in Wide Bay will receive a share of $1.8 billion in federal funding for road and community projects, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today.
Mr O'Brien said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government package included $500 million to establish a new Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, and brings forward $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payments.
"This is a significant investment by the Morrison Government that will support local jobs and businesses in Wide Bay and give a boost to our local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19," Mr O'Brien said.
The funding formula 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.
Mr O'Brien said accelerating local infrastructure projects like road upgrades was important for supporting jobs and the local economy.
"Every single local job we support makes a huge difference in Wide Bay communities, right now and in the future, as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic," Mr O'Brien said.
"This package will go a long way to supporting jobs, construction businesses and the economy across Wide Bay, it will improve our local roads and it will provide new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.
"The funding is deliberately directed towards our local councils to help them create and sustain local jobs in local businesses through local supply chains.
"I encourage Fraser Coast, Gympie, Noosa, South Burnett and Cherbourg councils to bring forward suitable projects with broad community support so they can deliver the economic and social benefits this funding is designed to support.
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 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program the following funding allocations have been made to local councils from 1 July that fall entirely or partially within the Wide Bay electorate this financial year:
- Fraser Coast Regional Council - $1,912,057
- Gympie Regional Council - $1,361,802
- Noosa Council - $790,346
- Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council - $39,849
- Noosa Council - $790,346
- South Burnett Regional Council $1,644,465
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council $3,653,767
The new Road Community Infrastructure Program funding will be available from 1 July, the coming financial year and projects need to be completed by the end of the financial year.
As a separate measure, we are also bringing forward $1.3 billion of next year's Financial Assistance Grants.
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.