This week Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) announced the second stage of its local economic relief package, with a $50 million Pandemic Response Investment adopted as part of its 2020-21 Budget.
In adopting its Budget for the upcoming year, TRC Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair Geoff McDonald said Council had for the first time separated its capital works program into two parts.
“Overall we have a $215 million capital works program, with $50 million of this work forming our Pandemic Response Investment,” he said.
“This is a different approach from Council designed specifically to provide genuine opportunities for the private sector.
“As part of the Pandemic Response Investment there has been $11.8 million allocated to new capital projects, $26 million allocated to infrastructure renewal programs and $12.2 million allocated to upgrade programs.
“The purpose of this innovative Capital Works Program is to stimulate local business that employs local people supporting local families who live in the Region. The $50 million works program will see 64 projects made available to the private sector through our procurement arrangements.
“In selecting the items on the list, Council identified projects from future work programs that could be accelerated.
“An example of this is the clubhouse amenities at Nell E Robinson Park. This is a project which was on Council’s 10-year program but would not have been undertaken in the 2020-21 financial year, however the Pandemic Response Investment has allowed us to speed up the project so that work can begin much sooner than originally anticipated.”
Other projects in the Pandemic Response Investment include:
- Yarraman and Millmerran pool upgrades
- Kingsthorpe Recreation Reserve upgrade
- Cambooya Hall renewal program
- Footpath renewal in Crows Nest
- Landfill rehabilitation in Brookstead, Pilton and Quinalow
- Waste Management Facility upgrades in Millmerran, Yarraman and the Southern Growth Corridor
- Cooby and Cressbrook Dam upgrades
- Meringandan West Trunk Water Mains upgrade.
As part of the Pandemic Response Investment $12.8 million has been allocated for building renewals and upgrades, $275,000 for plant and equipment, $16.5 million for road and bridge network upgrades, $10.1 million for facility renewal and upgrades, $980,000 for wastewater infrastructure upgrades and $9.2 million for water infrastructure upgrades.
“The budget has been delivered earlier than usual to give confidence to the community and provide a positive financial outlook for the future,” Cr McDonald said.
“This package, together with Council’s amended procurement policy (which provides extra weighting for local suppliers) gives local business the best possible opportunity to work with Council in the 2020/21 financial year.
“To ensure businesses are able to take full advantage of this program from 1 July 2020, Council will be engaging with groups such as the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and other key stakeholders to roll out this program of works as soon as possible.”
For more detailed information on the 2020-21 Budget, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/budgetor contact Council on 131 872.