December 13, 2018
The South Burnett Regional Council’s budget will receive an extra boost next year after the State Government announced it will fast-track its Works For Queensland grant program.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced the boost on Thursday as part of the State Government’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review.
“This program has been an incredible success for regional Queensland, building important local infrastructure and supporting more than 12,500 jobs so far,” Ms Trad said.
“The State Budget allocated $200 million to a third round of Works for Queensland in 2019-21, but the time is right to bring forward $100 million to keep councils building and to keep growing jobs.”
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the program was very popular with local councils.
“Regional Queensland loves this program as it brings local people into local jobs to build community infrastructure,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“I am delighted we are able to announce the first-half funding allocations for 65 regional councils, setting their communities up with an early Christmas present.”
The $400 million Works For Queensland program was introduced in January 2017.
Late last year, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised to put a further $200 million into the program for 2019-21 if her government was re-elected at the November 25 elections.
Grant allocations are based on location, population and unemployment rates, and Queensland’s 12 largest councils – including Toowoomba – are ineligible to receive funding.
South Burnett Regional Council has so far received almost $9 million from the first two rounds of the Works For Queensland program.
It stands to receive about $2.25 million from the latest boost, and a similar amount in 2020.
The Council has used the Works For Queensland money to catch up on a backlog of projects that had been deferred due to budgetary constraints.
Councils will need to submit their latest list of projects by March 2019, with the infrastructure to be completed by June 2021.