Queensland’s regions are facing a brighter future thanks to the strong choices outlined in the 2014-15 State Budget.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the budget carefully balanced the need for spending in key areas without introducing new taxes or cutting services.
“The budget outlines our plans to secure the state’s finances by making the strongest and smartest choice to reduce debt so we can build the regional infrastructure Queensland needs for the future,” Mr Nicholls said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Queensland Government’s flagship Royalties for the Regions program remains a key focus of government spending for 2014-15
“We’re spending $101.5 million in the 2014-15 Budget for Royalties for the Regions projects for the construction and upgrade of essential community infrastructure,” Mr Seeney said.
“Despite the significant fiscal challenge left to us by Labor, we will continue to make regional Queensland one of our strongest priorities, as we have done from day one in government.
“The Royalties for the Regions program ensures a share of the royalties earned by the resources sector in regional areas is returned to the people of those regions to help create vibrant, liveable communities.
“The program has already approved funding for a diverse range of projects including road works, regional airport upgrades, medical and childcares centres and even a Natural History museum at Quilpie in Western Queensland.
“There is still $200 million available under Round 4 of the Royalties for the Regions program which will be broadened to encompass a wider range of community projects across Queensland’s regions.”
Other highlights of the 2014-15 Budget for the portfolio of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning include:
- $49.1 million to fund early works on the Commonwealth Games Village including demolition bulk earthworks and trunk infrastructure
- $2.5 million per year over the next four years to fund the independent GasFields Commission. The Commission is an independent statutory body established to manage relationships between rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry
- $3.5 million funding over the next four years to the Recreational Rail Trails Grants Program. The program will be open to expressions of interest from councils across Queensland. The initiative will provide more leisure opportunities by enhancing and extending the state’s network of recreational rail trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Further information on Royalties for the Region funding is available at http://www.budget.qld.gov.au/current-budget/regional-budget-statements/.