Backing jobs for Gladstone was the focus of Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad’s post Budget speech on Thursday night at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre.
“This is a Budget built for regional Queensland that invests in job-generating infrastructure and frontline services that Gladstone and Central Queensland needs,” Ms Trad said.
“During 2019-20, the Palaszczuk Government will invest more than a $1 billion in infrastructure for Central Queensland and support an estimated 3,600 local jobs.
“We also understand the importance of local businesses to Gladstone, that’s why we’ve increased the payroll tax-free threshold.
“Our $885 million Payroll Tax Package will help build capacity for an estimated 440 Central Queensland businesses to take on additional workers and grow.
“Since the Palaszczuk Government’s election in 2015, around 207,000 new jobs have been created across the state, and we want that to continue.”
Ms Trad said the Palaszczuk Government had worked hard to restore the frontline services that were axed by the LNP.
“This Budget will invest $623 million in health for this region and almost $44 million to maintain and upgrade Central Queensland schools,” Ms Trad said.
“Our investment in frontline services has delivered 168 extra nurses, 95 new doctors,185 additional teachers and 71 extra teacher aides, based right here in Central Queensland since 2015.”
Member for Gladstone and Assistant Treasurer Glenn Butcher said Gladstone’s LNG export success story had inspired a $19 million investment in hydrogen as an energy source of the future.
“In just a decade, Queensland has gone from zero to hero with LNG exports out of the Port of Gladstone helping Australia become one of the top three suppliers to the world,” Mr Butcher said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has put $19 million on the table this Budget to kickstart a renewable hydrogen industry to grow new jobs and export potential, as we’ve done with LNG.
“Our city, with its deepwater export port, gas infrastructure and skilled workforce has been identified as a potential hydrogen hub, and that’s great news for jobs and small business in Gladstone.”
Other significant projects funded in the 2019-20 include:
- $36.38 million toward the upgrade of RG Tanna Coal Terminal projects
- $32.4 million toward East Shores Stage 1B channel duplication investigations and marina earthworks
- $22.1 million toward upgrade of Gladstone Hospital Emergency department
- $1.9 million toward upgrade of Toolooa State High school
- $9.4 million toward safety improvements on Gladstone-Benaraby Road from Dalrymple Drive to the Bruce Highway intersection
- $21 million toward widening the Bruce Highway from Benaraby to Calliope River
- $5.3 million toward the relocation of the Gladstone Fish Hatchery to Awoonga Dam
- $1.6 million for an emergency shelter near Awoonga Dam
- $860,000 to improve traffic safety at Agnes Water State School
- $140,000 for new Curtis Island National Park – Connor Bluff day use area and visitor access
“The Palaszczuk Government’s Budget for Gladstone and Central Queensland invests in the jobs of today and the jobs of the future while ensuring we have the frontline services our growing city needs,” Mr Butcher said.