State budget supports Queensland communities and digital economy

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to provide vital support to Queensland communities and the digital economy as part of the state’s economic recovery plan, with today’s State Budget revealing investment in drought support, community transport, mobile black spots and cyber security.

Minister for Communities and Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Budget is ensuring Queenslanders can continue to access the services and support they need.

“As Queensland communities are recovering from the pandemic, the Palaszczuk Government is ensuring there are the services and support available to individuals and families,” Minister Enoch said.

“This includes $5.2 million in 2021-22 for the Community Drought Support Program, which forms part of the Palaszczuk Government’s annual drought support package.

“This funding provides support to individuals and families living in communities in drought-declared areas of the state, including flexible financial assistance such as vouchers and food hampers and support for events and activities including local agricultural shows, rodeos and sporting events.”

The Budget also includes a $7 million investment per year to ensure the Community Transport Program can continue for Queenslanders, including people with disability who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“The service also supports other vulnerable and socially disadvantaged Queenslanders under the age of 65 who have limited or no access to appropriate and affordable transport,” Minister Enoch said.

“This important program provides door-to-door transport to access medical appointments, go shopping, visit friends and family and connect with their communities.

“There are currently about 50 funded Community Transport providers in Queensland, operating from about 70 service outlets across the state, including in rural and remote communities where there is no public transport. Providers will now have greater certainty.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting communities as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2021-22 State Budget is supporting communities to thrive through investing in quality community services that are connected and support the social and economic inclusion and wellbeing of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds,” she said.

“This also includes ensuring Queenslanders remain connected in the digital world.

“The pandemic highlighted the ongoing necessity for remaining connected digitally, and the growing need to enhance the digital economy, that is why the Palaszczuk Government has allocated funding in the State Budget for digital services.”

$39.6 million has been approved to support service enhancements across Queensland, including continued call centre and online services such as the 134COVID and the Check in Qld app, the next stage support for the Digital Archives Project, and a focus on cyber security.

“In addition, up to a further $12 million has been committed to improve mobile coverage across the state with continued support for the Mobile Black Spot Program,” Minister Enoch said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring Queensland communities can continue to thrive as we recover from the pandemic, and today’s Budget is an example of that commitment.”

2021–22 budget highlights for Communities and the Digital Economy include:

  • $7 million per annum on going from 2021–22 for the continuation of Community Transport Program
  • $5.2 million for community drought support as part of the overall Drought Assistance and Reform Package
  • $17.3 million over 5 years, $4.4 million in 2021–22 to complete the Digital Archives Program which will enable the preservation of digital government records
  • Up to $12 million over 3 years for the Mobile Black Spot Program
  • $11.3 million in 2021–22 to continue to deliver Smart Service Queensland’s COVID-19 response call centre and online services including quarantine compliance and wellness checks
  • $11 million over 2 years for whole-of-government cyber security enhancements

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