What the Queensland budget means for the Western Downs
THE Western Downs will miss out on the lion's share of the State Government's budget after it boasted a $56 billion capital works program, the largest in over a decade.
After a hard fought election, the Labor government delivered their budget in a quick turnaround following a hard fought election in November.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said thanks to Queensland's strong health response, the state economy was in a stronger position than our southern counterparts.
"This budget will support our economic recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic by supporting jobs and supporting Queensland communities with investment in infrastructure, as well as Queensland manufacturing and supporting our regional centres," she said.
"It delivers on our election commitments and is the next step in Queensland's economic recovery."
Up to $723 million will be spent in infrastructure across the Darling Downs region, which encompasses the Western Downs, Southern Downs, Toowoomba, and Maranoa regions.
The State Government has allocated $1.1 billion to health services, $250 million to the Karara Wind Farm, $62.8 million to education, $36 million to disaster recovery and reconstruction and $22 million to social housing.
Of this spending, the Western Downs has been allocated money for five projects of the region's 34, totalling $17.114 million:
- Kogan Creek Power Station enhancements, overhauls and refurbishment - $11.5 million in 2020-21 for enhancement and refurbishment to ensure the plant's long term reliability and safety
- Chinchilla State High School - $2.8 million over three years for an engineering annex to support training in the mining, gas and electrical industries.
- Tara Shire State College - $2 million over three years for engineering annexes to support training opportunities in the mining, gas, and electrical industries.
- Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program - $480,000 in 2020/21 to protect environmental and indigenous cultural heritage values in Bunya Mountains
- Myall Creek Linear Park - Amos St Precinct Project - $334,955 in 2020-21 out of a $1 million total spend to deliver a historical tourist attraction, 1.3km footpath, amenities, at Anderson Park, landscaping and lighting to improve community facilities
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the 2020-21 budget showed Queensland's superior economic performance means it will be the only state, other than Western Australia, to record positive economic growth this financial year.
"Before and during the State Election - held just one month ago - we made more than 1,000 commitments to communities, businesses and the state's 5.2 million people," he said.
"The 2020 budget will help drive a $56 billion capital works program, the largest in over decade, with $14.8 billion to be spent this financial year supporting 46,000 jobs."