Fund­ing cheer for schools, in­fra­struc­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

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.

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