Funding cheer for schools, infrastructure
THE State Budget contains a number of important measures for the Townsville community.
The $ 90 million commitment to build two new schools in the city’s northern corridor will help underpin the area’s growth for decades and was desperately needed.
The creation of a $ 200 million regional infrastructure grant for councils in rural and regional Queensland is also a welcome development.
This fund should help ease the burden on Townsville City Council, which has felt the cuts in state and federal government grants in recent years.
State Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s move to fast- track the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor ( TEARC) is also a good move.
The TEARC project has been on the agenda for more than a decade and will help underpin the Townsville- Mount Isa supply chain’s future capacity requirements.
The move to divert funds from a government superannuation fund and handpass debt to government- owned corporations seems like policy on the run.
This is probably because Labor’s original debt- reduction plan to merge energy businesses and use dividends has been delayed.
At the election, Labor committed to merging the state’s three power distributors – Ergon, Energex and Powerlink – with Townsville set to be the headquarters of the new company.
It is as yet unclear why this decision has been delayed.
There is also the question over how the Government will deliver the CBD stadium.
Yesterday’s Budget allocated $ 100 million over four years towards the project, which is estimated to cost $ 200 million.
Clearly, more funding is needed from the federal or state governments or the council to deliver this important project for the city.