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Few Surprises For South Burnett

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Road Funding ‘Overlooked’

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said South Burnett road infrastructure had been overlooked for the fifth year in a row.

She said the 2019-20 State Budget did not address the need for road upgrades needed across the South Burnett.

“Roads like the D’Aguilar Highway, Bunya Highway, Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road and Burrandowan Road have received no funding,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“And when it comes to the road network in the western part of the Gympie region … roads like Kilkivan-Tansey Road, Running Creek Bridge near Woolooga, and the Burnett Highway have simply been forgotten.

“In light of the recent road tragedies in our region, I would have hoped to have seen some consideration of funding for our road network.

“This is very disappointing for our community but it’s to be expected from this city-centric Labor Government.

“One of the great lies of this Budget is that it is for regional Queensland.

“The money Labor is actually spending on infrastructure is being funnelled into a handful of inner-Brisbane electorates for their pet project Cross River Rail.”

Mrs Frecklington said several infrastructure projects had simply been re-announced.

“This is the third year in a row Labor have announced the Kilkivan Fire Station.

“It’s very worrying  that no works have actually started on the Kilkivan Fire Station. Surely Labor has to come clean and explain what is going on.

“It’s the second year they’ve announced the Yarraman Fire Station, and funding previously announced for the Wooroolin Fire Station has actually disappeared from the Budget papers.

“I welcome the announcement for Murgon State High school which commits $3.4 million for a new Hall and Administration Building.

“This is long overdue and I was pleased to support the students, staff, families and community who deserve this important facility.”

by Anne Miller

June 11, 2019

The State Government’s 2019-20 Budget, handed down by Treasurer Jackie Trad on Tuesday, contains few surprises for the South Burnett region.

A $10 million building project at Murgon State High School, foreshadowed earlier this year, has been confirmed with $3.4 million allocated towards the cost.

Funds have also been allotted towards the long-discussed pit expansion into nearby forestry at Tarong’s Meandu coal mine.

Work will continue on the Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment, with another $23.8 million put towards the project.

Money has also been allocated again to replace the fire station at Kilkivan. The promised new complex at Kilkivan has been a long time coming; $900,000 was set aside in the 2017-18 State Budget; followed by $900,000 in 2018-19. Work has still to start on the project.

Likewise, the new fire station at Yarraman has also been previously announced, with $800,000 allocated in 2018-19 out of a then-projected cost of $1.5 million.

* * *

State Budget allocations for the region in 2019-20 include:

  • Bunya Mountains – $480,000 for the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program to protect environmental and Indigenous cultural heritage values in the Bunya Mountains.
  • Cherbourg – $3.5 million for 20 new social housing lots
  • Jimna Fire Tower – $1.3 million out of a $1.5 million total cost to restore the Heritage-listed tower.
  • Kilkivan Fire Station – $1.6 million out of a $1.8 million total cost of a project to replace the facility.
  • Kingaroy Hospital – $23.8 million, the next tranche of funding for the $73.9 million redevelopment project.
  • Linc Energy mine site – $16.2 million out of the $38.1 million cost to manage the former Linc Energy UCG site at Hopeland, near Chinchilla.
  • Meandu Mine – $34.8 million out of the $201.2 million total spend to develop expand the mining area and replace and refurbish assets.
  • Murgon State High School – $3.4 million out of the $10 million total cost to build a hall and a new administration building.
  • New England Highway – $8.1 million out of the $9.3 million cost to replace the timber Emu Creek Bridge, part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program delivered in partnership with the Federal Government.
  • Tarong Power Station – $101.7 million out of $353.7 million total cost to design and construct a new fly ash plant as well as a range of refurbishments and improvements.
  • Yarraman Fire Station – $1.4 million out of $1.5 million total spend for a replacement station.

* * *

Road Projects

  • Brisbane Valley Highway (Ipswich to Harlin) – $206,000 to upgrade pedestrian facilities over 600 metre stretch
  • Bunya Highway (between Kingaroy and Goomeri) – $181,000 to install a pedestrian refuge
  • Burrandowan Road – Aerodrome Road in Kingaroy – $132,000 to improve the intersection
  • Byee Road – $305,000 to widen and seal 500 metres  (with allocations of $31,000 2020-21 and an indicated $352,000 in 2022-23)
  • Cairns Street, Nanango – $16,000 to construct a cycleway, footpaths and supporting infrastructure
  • D’Aguilar Highway (Kilcoy to Yarraman) – $30,000 to improve channelisation over a 2km section
  • D’Aguilar Highway (Yarraman to Kingaroy) – $135,000 to widen and overlay two sections, 3km in total (with $6.165 million indicated for 2022-23)
  • GS Bond Bridge on Chinchilla-Wondai Road – $12.447 million indicative allocation for 2022-23
  • Haly Street, Wondai – $48,000 to construct a footpath
  • Kilcoy Creek Bridge, Kilcoy – $3.88 million to replace the bridge and approaches
  • Kingaroy-Cooyar Road – Maidenwell-Bunya Mountains Road – $237,000 to reshape and seal intersection
  • Kumbia-Brooklands Road – $251,000 indicative allocation to widen and overlay a 900 metre section in 2022-23
  • Maidenwell-Bunya Mountains Road – $299,000 for a minor realignment of lanes
  • Mary Street, Coolabunia – $70,000 to provide passenger set-down facilities for Coolabunia State School
  • Memerambi-Barkers Creek Road – $432,000 indicative allocation to construct to new sealed two-lane standard in 2022-23
  • New England Highway (Yarraman to Toowoomba) – $1.073 million to widen 5km
  • Nukku Road and Blackbutt Crows Nest Road intersection – $1.3 million to construct to sealed two-lane standard
  • Peterson Drive, Coolabunia – $33,000 to widen and seal a 500 metre section (with allocation of $237,000 in 2020-21)

* * *

There’s some good news for small business – and regional businesses, in particular – in the Budget.

From July, the exemption threshold for payroll tax will be increased for all Queensland businesses from $1.1 million to $1.3 million.

The Treasurer said this would mean 1500 extra businesses would no longer pay any payroll tax.

Regional businesses which employ 85 per cent or more local workers will also receive a payroll tax discount of 1 per cent off the set rate.

However, these cuts will be offset by a higher payroll tax rate for large businesses.

A higher rate of 4.95 per cent payroll tax rate will be introduced for businesses with taxable wages of more than $6.5 million a year. This is expected to affect about 6000 employers.

Companies and trusts will also pay more land tax – up 0.25 per cent – if they own combined landholdings worth more than $5 million.

The absentee land tax surcharge will rise to 2 per cent and will also be extended to foreign companies and trustees of foreign trusts.

Land tax rates will not change for individuals.

A total of $14.8 million has also been allocated to the regional Business Energy Savers Program to help farmers realise energy savings through energy audits and transition support to new tariffs.

* * *

This year’s Budget will record a higher-than-expected surplus of $841 million but the good news won’t be continuing.

The State Government expects to get $2.3 billion less in GST revenue from 2018-19 to 2021-22, and $1 billion less in stamp duty due to the cooling housing market.

To partially offset this, oil and gas companies will face a 2.5 per cent increase in royalties to 12.5 per cent, but coal producers have dodged a bullet with royalty rates to remain the same.

Income from coal royalties has been tipped to drop in 2020-21 alongside a projected dip in coal prices.

Overall, Queensland’s debt has been predicted to hit $90.72 billion by 2022-23.


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