The Queensland Government will provide $17.5 million in funding for wastewater, sewage, recreation, air transport and communications infrastructure in Central Queensland.

Queensland State Development Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the projects, in partnership with Barcaldine, Central Highlands,Rockhampton, and Livingstone Shire regional councils would support 168 jobs and generate new business opportunities in local communities.

“Regional infrastructure projects are an important part of keeping the economy ticking over and keeping our regional communities strong,” Dr Lynham said.

“Our $375 million Building our Regions program is pumping funds into regional communities across the state and supporting more than 600 jobs in 51 projects funded in this latest second round.”

Dr Lynham said 37 projects were already underway and two had been completed from the first round announced in 2015.

“This includes more than $6 million from the Palaszczuk Government for almost $12.5 million worth of projects in Central Queensland ranging from road upgrades to tourism infrastructure.

“Construction is underway on all four projects from Birdsville to Tambo and Rockhampton to Mount Morgan.”

The new Building our Regions funding includes:

  • In Livingstone Shire:
    • $1.8 million from the state government, $2.4 million from council and $300,000 from Bendigo Community Bank to revitalise the Emu Park village and foreshore to make it a tourism drawcard
    • $5 million from the state government and $9.63 million from council to upgrade the Yeppoon Sewage Treatment Plant
  • In Rockhampton:
    • $2.27 million from the state government and $2.28 million from council to create a smart technologies and working hub that will attract people to the riverbank and CBD
    • $250,000 from the state government, $245,000 from council and $5000 from the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club to improve the First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve, to reinforce its place as the only state competition quality mountain bike facility in Central Queensland
  • In Aramac:
    • $987,000 from the state government and $1.01 million from council for a new aquatic centre
  • On the Central Highlands:
    • $5 million from the state government and $18.46 million from council for upgrades to the Black Gully Waste Water Treatment Plant that will support growth in Emerald and the region
    • $2.24 million from the state government and $2.34 million from council to upgrade Emerald Airport’s runway

They are among 51 critical infrastructure projects receiving more than $79.2 million under Round 2 of the Building our Regions program, and attracting a further $117.6 million investment from councils and other organisations.

“This is all part of our plan to support jobs growth in regional Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

“In Central Queensland our Back to Work package has supported 83 jobs by helping 53 businesses employ jobseekers.

“Importantly, the Palaszczuk Government has doubled the incentive for business hiring young people in regional Queensland for December, January and February from $10,000 to $20,000 to help tackle youth unemployment.”

Queensland Member for Rockhampton, Bill Byrne, said the Smart Hub would deliver a new lease on life for the CBD and help foster new local businesses.

“Investment like this creates business opportunities for locals on the project itself, but will also local start-ups the backing they need to build their businesses and grow more jobs for Rocky,” Mr Byrne said.

Queensland Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, welcomed the announcement, after long advocating for the Emu Park Foreshore revitalisation.

“These infrastructure projects not only generate jobs but are also integral to maintaining liveability as our community grows,” Ms Lauga said.

“I’ve been working hard to make the Emu Park foreshore revitalisation happen since before the last election, and I’m glad the independent assessment panel has seen the merits in this project and it will now go ahead for the local community.

“Investing in our tourism infrastructure such as the Emu Park foreshore will provide a boost for our region and it’s great to see the Palaszczuk Government partnering with the Livingston Shire Council to deliver these much-needed projects.”

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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