Backing Central Queensland jobs was the focus today as Jackie Trad spoke with business and community leaders at the Rockhampton Leagues Club about what the 2019 State Budget means for Rockhampton and Keppel.
“This is a budget built for regional Queensland that invests in job-generating infrastructure and frontline services for Rockhampton and Yeppoon,” Ms Trad said.
“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.
“During 2019-20, the Palaszczuk Government will invest $1.1 billion in Central Queensland infrastructure, directly supporting 3,600 jobs in the region.
“The Palaszczuk Government knows how important small and medium-sized businesses are to Central Queensland, that’s why we’ve increased the payroll tax-free threshold.
“An estimated 440 businesses in Central Queensland and their staff will benefit from the Palaszczuk Government’s $885 million Payroll Tax Package.”
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman was also in Rockhampton to meet with small business owners.
“The business owners I have spoken with have been overwhelmingly positive about the Palaszczuk Government’s increase to the payroll tax-free threshold,” Ms Fentiman said.
“For some small businesses it will mean being able to put a casual worker on full-time, or offer more hours to a part-time staff member, which is good news for jobs and the local economy.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the Palaszczuk Government’s Budget was returning quality frontline services to Central Queensland cut by the previous LNP Government.
“We’ve honoured our commitment to Central Queensland and employed an extra 166 nurses and 95 extra doctors in the region since coming to office,” Mrs Lauga said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has also employed an extra 185 teachers and 81 teacher aides to give our kids the very best start.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to building the $352 million Rookwood Weir project which is expected to begin construction later this year and support 100 new jobs.
“It is estimated the Rookwood Weir could add 76,000 megalitres of water for agricultural production along the Fitzroy River and provide a back-up supply for Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire.
“Central Queensland will also benefit from $89 million of upgrades to the Capricorn Highway, including duplicating a section between Rockhampton and Gracemere.”
Other significant projects funded in the 2019-20 Budget for Rockhampton and Yeppoon include:
- The $31.5 million Rockhampton Art Gallery project is receiving $5 million through Building our Regions, in addition to $2 million provided previously for a business case and $8 million in other Palaszczuk Government funds, bringing the total contribution to $15 million.
- $622.8 million for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.
- $43.7 million to maintain, improve and upgrade schools in Central Queensland.
- $1.3 million upgrade to the Rockhampton Ambulance Station and Operational Centre.
- $17.7 million towards the Great Keppel Island Rejuvenation Pilot.
- $14.9 million to complete improvements to intersections and road train access on Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road.
- $88 million in 2019-20 out of a $243.2 million total spend to increase capacity and upgrade facilities of the Capricornia Correctional Centre.
- $15 million in 2019-20 out of a $36 million total spend to improve the intersection of Terranova Drive and Yaamba Road at Glenlee.
- $1.1 million in 2019-20 out of a $5 million total spend to reinstate a section of the Yeppoon rail line.
Ms Trad said the Budget would include $74.6 million over four years to support drought-affected communities through the Drought Assistance Package and Queensland Drought Reform.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing in the support, jobs, frontline services and infrastructure Central Queensland needs now and into the future,” Ms Trad said.