$880m council cash splash to create 17,800 jobs
Hundreds of millions of dollars will be splashed on local infrastructure projects across the state under a major commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to support 17,800 jobs.
Annastacia Palaszczuk will unveil the $880 million pledge on Tuesday at the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference, promising to give councils a cash boost to stimulate the economy.
It will include $400 million for Works for Queensland projects across 65 regional councils over the next six years, as well as a $200 million stimulus fund for 12 local governments in the state's southeast.
Another $280 million will be spent over four years on a transport infrastructure development scheme, to fund infrastructure projects through a 50:50 split between the State and councils.
The announcement comes as the state grapples with the worst unemployment rate in the country, with Queensland's jobless rate rising to 7.7 per cent in September - worse than Victoria.
The Premier, who will address Queensland's councillors and mayors, said the funding would play a vital role in the state's economic recovery from COVID-19.
"As a Government we have always backed local governments like we have through the global COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters like fires, floods, or cyclones," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our local governments to create jobs right across the state and we're not going to stop now."
Under the Works for Queensland scheme, each eligible regional council will pocket two rounds of $1 million, with the rest of the money to be divvied out according to population and unemployment.
The regions have been a major battleground in the election, with Labor defending a number of marginal electorates outside the southeast.
Labor claims the regional fund will support 11,800 jobs, while the southeast Queensland stimulus package is expected to support up to 6,000 jobs.
"I know that councils across Queensland have welcomed every single Works for Queensland round in the past," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I know the massive impact this program has on supporting jobs in regional Queensland."
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the money would deliver community infrastructure, such as roads, playgrounds, sports facilities, halls, swimming pools, footpaths and shade structures.
"It doesn't matter whether you're in Bouldercombe or Barcaldine - local projects deliver local jobs and local benefit," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"These funds will support the kickstart of council projects from Woombye to Weipa - Calliope to Camooweal."
Originally published as $880m council cash splash to create 17,800 jobs