Councils want equal boost
Councils are calling on the Queensland Government to ensure economic stimulus is shared equally.
The Queensland Government has allocated $200 million in COVID-19 ‘Works for Queensland’ funding, and has pitched the spending as a way to boost local communities through councils.
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) want to hold the state to its pledge.
LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam says the pandemic does not discriminate, and neither should economic stimulus.
“As CEO of the peak association representing all 77 councils across the state, I intend to hold the Premier to her word that this money is just the beginning of the funding that will flow,” he said.
“Southeast Queensland councils and their communities often miss out on access to funding from other levels of government and while they have been included in the $200 million COVID-19 Works for Queensland package, the funding shares are grossly inadequate to address the very real job losses facing these local government areas.
“The view that SEQ councils can withstand this pandemic on their own due to their larger populations does not hold true.
“With populations split almost evenly between the southeast corner and the rest of Queensland, the LGAQ had proposed to equally share the $200 million funding between these communities, keeping in mind this would still double the funding available for rural and regional Queensland based on pre-existing Works for Queensland allocations.
“Instead we now have 11 of the largest councils in the state fighting over just 25 per cent of the new funding with Brisbane City Council to receive just 2.5 per cent of the total pool, much less than other much smaller councils.
“Creating jobs is critical for every region in the state.
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure all communities share in this critical, job-creating stimulus funding going forward.”