LGAQ welcomes most of QLD budget
The Local Government Association of Queensland is pretty happy with the Palaszczuk Government’s first Budget.
The Budget handed down this week includes more funding for road projects and a solid commitment to boosting local jobs training programs and infrastructure programs.
Vital programs to help build and maintain local roads has received an important funding boost after being pared back under the previous government.
The Budget also confirms the Government will spend $15 million over the next three years to help local councils ensure their communities adapt to the looming impacts of climate change.
Local Government Association of Queensland President Margaret de Wit said the Government actually managed to exceed its promise to restore funding for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme, or TIDS, to $70 million a year over two years.
The Government says it will devote a total of $200 million of its Building Our Regions program over the next two years to local government projects, with some of this money also brought forward.
The Budget continues funding for recovery and reconstruction works following Tropical Cyclone Marcia and other natural disaster events, with nearly $410 million to flow to local authorities for rebuilding projects this financial year.
There will be a special $40 million program for restoration of the Rockhampton riverfront and Yeppoon foreshore following TC Marcia, and the Government has also made good on its promise to spend $40 million on a Community Resilience Fund to support councils mitigate the impact of natural disasters on infrastructure.
The money-holders also appear to have heeded pre-election calls from the local government sector for a rejuvenation of investment in workplace skills development. It has restored the important Skilling Queenslanders for Work program with $240 million in funding over the next four years.
Cr de Wit said the LGAQ was pleased the Budget continued funding for regional collaboration across water and sewerage services to improve the way water is delivered and treated in local communities.
But, she said, it showed some minor tinkering with Labor’s original election pledges.
“'We would have liked the Budget to deliver a full $15 million to the new climate change adaptation fund instead of having the Government reserve $3 million of that fund to build an overall climate change adaptation strategy,” Cr de Wit said.