LNP to inject $250 million into regional communities
BUNDABERG is set to benefit from a $250 million federal funding injection to regional communities.
Designed to assist local economies and create jobs, the recovery package aims to encourage Australians to enjoy a holiday in their own backyard by travelling to regional areas.
As part of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), $200 million will be used to assist businesses in regional areas that rely heavily on international tourism, along with a further $50 million from the Regional Tourism Recovery initiative.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said projects were essential in the region's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as they would bring long-term jobs to the area.
"More local jobs, better community infrastructure and a boost to our local economy - that is exactly what today's announcement will bring," Mr Pitt said.
"Local projects in our electorate have already received substantial support from the BBRF program including the joint RFDS and Lifeflight aeromedical base in Bundaberg, the town centre upgrade at Burnett Heads, the marine industry precinct at the Port of Bundaberg and the upgrade at Hervey Bay Airport."
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $200 million investment would secure regional Australia's future.
"This Budget will set aside $200 million for projects to boost local infrastructure in regional communities, $100 million of which will be dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure," Mr McCormack said.
"We know every dollar spent on building local communities is a dollar well spent and that is at the heart of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia."
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism was an important driver of many regional economies and the package would place the sector in the best possible shape while recovering from the pandemic.
"This targeted new fund will support internationally dependent tourism regions to adapt their offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short-term and be in the strongest possible position to welcome back international tourists down the track," Mr Birmingham said.
"The Morrison-McCormack Government's billions in economy-wide support has provided a lifeline to many in the tourism industry, sustaining hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses.
"Increasingly we are targeting sectors hardest hit, with this regional support sitting alongside our $50 million business events program to get meetings, conventions and conferences up and running again, which is so crucial to the visitor economies of our capital and larger cities."
Round five of the Building Better Regions Fund will be delivered using the same framework as the previous four rounds, with infrastructure project and community investment streams.
Applicants will soon be able to access guidelines for grant opportunities.