Labor Promises $880 Million for Queensland Councils

By AAP
October 19, 2020 Updated: October 20, 2020

Queensland councils are set for $880 million in funding for infrastructure and transport projects under a new Labor election promise.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will make the announcement on the state election campaign trail in the state’s southeast on Oct. 20.

Her promise comes after attending the 124th Local Government Association of Queensland’s Annual Conference on the Gold Coast on Monday night.

Labor’s pledge includes $600 million for capital works and $280 million for local transport infrastructure.

“We have always backed local governments like we have through the global COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters like fires, floods, or cyclones,” Palaszczuk will say on Tuesday.

“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.”

The 65 regional councils will each receive two rounds of $1 million in funding from a $400 million pool.

The remaining $270 million will be allocated based on population and unemployment levels up to 2026.

The 12 councils in the more heavily-populated southeast will receive two rounds of funding from a $200 million pool.

Another $280 million has been set aside for local transport infrastructure.

The state will use that funding to match funding put up by local governments for transport projects.

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington is in Yeppoon on Tuesday, where she could make a campaign promise to boost tourism.

The sector has been hit particularly hard by international and interstate border restrictions brought in to contain COVID-19.

The LNP haven’t revealed any masterplan for tourism, but Deputy Leader Tim Mander has previously spoken in support of a tourism marketing fund.

Frecklington’s announcement will come after her pledge to start recycling solar panels was strongly supported by renewable energy businesses.

Linked Group, a Mackay-based renewable manufacturer said it was good to see the LNP exploring opportunities in renewable energy

“Renewables create jobs and deliver cheaper power, which would help protect jobs for those working within energy-intensive industries,” chief executive Jason Sharman said.

“Climate change is taking a devastating toll on Queensland. Harnessing renewable energy is essential if we are to protect Queensland’s way of life and the beautiful, natural places we cherish.”

However, Frecklington may have to field questions on Tuesday about the LNP’s Redcliffe candidate Kerri-Anne Dooley.

An LNP member suspended over racist comments last year was filmed by Seven News handing out how-to-vote cards for Dooley at a pre-poll booth on Monday.

Young LNP volunteer Jake Scott is still suspended from the party for denouncing Indigenous culture while on a Schoolies jaunt in a 2019 Facebook video.

Dooley previously came under scrutiny during the 2017 election when a photo emerged of her with a white man wearing blackface.

Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31, but on the first day of pre-poll voting 100,000 people cast their ballots.

More than 800,000 of Queensland’s voters have applied for postal votes.

By Marty Silk