More than $1m for lo­cal jobs

Mayor says funds could go to a num­ber of dif­fer­ent projects

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Lof­tus tobi.lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

NORTH Burnett Re­gional Coun­cil has re­ceived $1.58 mil­lion from a $200 mil­lion jobs stim­u­lus pack­age that was an­nounced on Thurs­day by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment.

Mayor Rachel Cham­bers said it was “amaz­ing” to re­ceive the funds.

“Usual grant fund­ing re­quires coun­cil to con­trib­ute a sum of 20 to 50% of the to­tal grant,” Cr Cham­bers said. “This one doesn’t. “We have been given $1.58 mil­lion with no fi­nan­cial strings at­tached.

“Usu­ally grant money can not be spent on main­te­nance projects. This grant is for main­te­nance projects.”

Cr Cham­bers said the money could be spent on a num­ber of projects from foot­path up­grades, to so­lar en­ergy con­ver­sions, main­te­nance on pub­lic toi­lets and town halls, re­seal­ing town streets, paint­ing of pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, to play­ground equip­ment.

“The list is end­less re­ally,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“Noth­ing is de­cided as we are work­ing on choos­ing the projects which al­low the best re­sults for all six of the town­ships with the most amount of em­ploy­ment.”

Cr Cham­bers said the fund­ing would al­low coun­cil to quickly up­grade some in­fra­struc­ture and use lo­cal labour do­ing it.

“Most fund­ing we ap­ply for as a re­gional coun­cil is spent im­prov­ing our ba­sics,” Cr Cham­bers aid.

“With a low pop­u­la­tion base we of­ten are over­looked when there’s money to im­prove our live­abil­ity as in­evitably some wa­ter or road sys­tem some­where will get pri­or­ity over the play­ground equip­ment.

“One of the de­sired out­comes of this grant is to im­prove live­abil­ity in re­gional ar­eas there­fore this money will al­low us to do some nice things as well as some im­por­tant main­te­nance on our in­fra­struc­ture all the while us­ing as much lo­cal labour as pos­si­ble.

“It’s a win win win for main­te­nance, live­abil­ity and jobs and I ap­plaud the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment for this in­no­va­tive ini­tia­tive.”

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the fund­ing had been given to re­gions that needed an eco­nomic boost.

“The full $200 mil­lion has been al­lo­cated across 65 re­gional coun­cils on the ba­sis of pop­u­la­tion and lo­cal un­em­ploy­ment,” Ms Trad said.

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