CQROC calls parties to prioritise economic infrastructure for the region

Councils across Central Queensland are calling on the parties contesting the State Election on January 31 to prioritise investment in economic infrastructure to generate jobs and population growth across the region.

Central Queensland Region of Councils (CQROC) spokesperson Councillor Ron Carige said economic infrastructure such as water storages, road and rail would generate and support growth in jobs and underpin sustainable population growth across CQ.

“Central Queensland is a significant contributor of wealth to the state coffers, but the fact remains we need State Government funding for assets like roads, bridges and water treatment systems so we can support regional development and encourage jobs growth, and also help us be more resilient to natural disasters,” the Mayor of Banana Shire said.

Cr Carige said CQROC members had worked together to compile a list of priority projects to encourage growth across the region, including the construction of an intermodal freight hub at Emerald; advancement of the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project; trunk infrastructure for the Gladstone State Development Area; and rebuilding Biloela Hospital with funding from asset leasing.

“There are other priorities as well, but we cannot progress these without a funding commitment from the State Government,” he said.

He added that the continuation of the Royalties for the Regions program of an amount no less than $200 million a year across Queensland was vital to ensuring regions could remain competitive over time, while boosting the state’s growth and reducing the financial burden on future generations.

“The cost burden to maintain and construct assets required as a result of mining and industrial growth in the past couple of years has been significant and one that CQ residents have had to fund, but this is a trend that cannot continue in a down-turning economy.”

Cr Carige said CQROC would approach parties and discuss their priorities before the election.

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