Backing Queensland Jobs
The Palaszczuk Government is delivering regional jobs and supporting jobs for apprentices across Queensland with this year’s Budget.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government had allocated $1.34 million for each of two years to ensure a level field and that everyone plays by the rules, especially on local, secure jobs requirements for government contracts.
“We are investing in a special team that will work collaboratively with industry and unions to assist industry in meeting their commitments under the Building and Construction Training Policy,” he said.
“These commitments include, for significant building contracts with the State Government, having apprentices make up 10 per cent of the workforce on a construction site.
“We will also be making sure businesses are complying with their requirements to support jobs in the local area and are following ethical business practices.”
Mr de Brenni said the Buy Queensland Compliance Unit would also ensure successful tenderers for government contracts meet their commitments under the Queensland Procurement Policy.
“By ensuring we are responding to any compliance issues, we can keep the public and industry confidence that government procurement delivers benefits in the regions where goods and services are supplied,” he said.
“Because it’s taxpayer money, Queenslanders can be assured that any complaints about non-compliance will be investigated and resolved, one way or another.”
Mr de Brenni said when businesses complied with the policies, the benefits were widespread.
“We are supporting more apprentices on work sites, which means more job opportunities for local kids and a shot at getting a trade,” he said.
“The local benefits test, which is part of our Buy Queensland procurement initiative, puts Queensland businesses first and supports remote and regional businesses when tendering for State Government contracts.”
Compliance teams will visit construction sites and supplier firms to conduct proactive audits, respond to industry intelligence and provide guidance to ensure they are upholding their responsibilities.
“Some of the contracts are high value projects and we expect that industry will do a good job of holding each other to their commitments.”
Responsive and ready
The Palaszczuk Government is putting Queenslanders at the heart of its digital services, by investing in critical early stage development of a new framework for a responsive and integrated suite of services that put Queenslanders first.
Minister for Digital Technology Mick de Brenni today announced funding of $8.8 million in 2018 for the Responsive Government Service Transformation initiative.
The new funding will green light the development of agile, innovative and digitally-enabled government services that deliver an improved customer service experience to Queenslanders.
“For too long, government transactions and online services seem to have been more about us than Queenslanders,” Mr de Brenni said.
“That’s back to front - the Queensland Government is here to serve Queenslanders, and responsive government is all about making Queensland Government services easy to use for everyone.
“This means a radical rethink of how we approach our role as government, and how we transact online.
“I’ve been listening to Queenslanders who tell me that doing business with government online should be easy, not mountains of red tape.
“So we’re streamlining the way we do business, starting with our online channel, whether you want to renew a licence, start a business, or obtain your birth certificate.”
Mr de Brenni said reducing red tape and minimising time transacting online was key to responsive government.
“The winning formula is to develop a single, accessible, user friendly point of contact for government services,” Mr de Brenni said.
“For example, you can open a café online – fill out forms, register your business name, pay licence fees, everything - so why can’t you do everything else that way too?
“What we ought to do as a government is streamline our services, because time spent working with us is time you’re not spending on your business, or your family.
“And freeing up your time also means freeing up resources for you to focus on growing your business and creating jobs.”
Supporting more jobs through housing construction
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering even more jobs for Queenslanders through the Housing Construction Jobs Program (HCJP), which will fund construction commencement of up to 599 social housing dwellings in 2018-19.
In 2018-19, $270.1 million has been allocated for the completion of 423 social homes and the upgrade of existing social homes, as well as construction commencement of 519 social homes through the Housing Construction Jobs Program (HCJP).
“We have budgeted a further $41.2 million in grants to deliver a further 143 homes for people in need and to start building another 80 homes through the HCJP, in addition to 49 new homes and housing upgrades for indigenous communities and housing and domestic violence services,” said Mr de Brenni.
“The HCJP is a partnership with industry and community housing providers to deliver more affordable housing in high-growth areas and is a key element of our 10-year, $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy,” he said.
“This program’s benefits extend far beyond housing for people in need – HCJP is also creating a pipeline of opportunities for the construction industry, securing hundreds of quality local jobs and leveraging the economic benefits of construction and precinct development in communities.
“This means jobs for Queensland’s builders, carpenters, electricians, concreters, plumbers, floor layers, glaziers and cabinet-makers.”
Mr de Brenni said the HCJP is on-track to deliver on its promise of 2972 new social homes and 1034 new affordable homes in Queensland by 2022, supporting over 600 fulltime construction jobs each year.
Money on the table for indigenous housing
A further $61.7 million has been set aside in 2018-19 to deliver 75 social homes and upgrade existing housing in Queensland’s remote indigenous communities.
“There’s an additional $62.5 million in grants for further infrastructure development in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including even more housing upgrades and another 18 new social homes, undertake infrastructure development, to upgrade existing social housing and undertake upgrades to support the transfer of social housing to home ownership on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land,” said Mr de Brenni.
“We are delivering for Queensland’s remote communities, and we are working to Close the Gap through the provision of housing.
“This stands in stark contrast to the Turnbull government, who have shamefully walked away from 50 years of Commonwealth support for remote indigenous housing outcomes, and have put hundreds of jobs at risk.”
Caring for communities
The 2018-19 Budget also provides $47.5 million for secure housing to support skilled government employees in rural and remote communities, including nurses, teachers, police and ambulance officers.
This includes $15.2 million towards the construction of 22 units in Aurukun to support enhanced service delivery.
“Queenslanders who live in regional communities deserve to have access to essential services,” said Mr de Brenni.
“Providing this accommodation in the regions also means each of these workers also bring another income, and often another family, into town to further support local businesses and community groups,” he said.
Encouraging Queenslanders to be more active, more often
Mr de Brenni said funding for sports and recreation opportunities in this year’s Budget is delivering on our commitment to supporting healthy Queenslanders and caring, connected communities.
He said $37.3 million had been made available under initiatives to upgrade sports infrastructure to support Queensland children and healthy communities
“A further $31 million of capital including grants will support sport and recreation clubs at the grassroots level through the delivery of key infrastructure, including $7 million for the University of Sunshine Coast Stadium, $9.1 million for Underwood Sports Park, $2.5 million for the Zillmere Sports Centre projects and $4.5 million for delivery of a capital works program at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre,” said Mr de Brenni.
“We are also allocating $15 million under the Female Facilities Program for functional and inclusive change rooms and sporting facilities for women and girls.
“Because fundamentally, this is about addressing inequality in sport – every Queenslander should have the opportunity to get in and have a go.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni