State government weighs up Bundaberg stimulus
BUNDABERG Regional Council continues to wait and see how its jobs creation wishlist will be received by the Queensland Government.
The council is part of a statewide 'battle plan' by the Local Government Association of Queensland, which is seeking a $608 million economic stimulus package from the State Government.
A spokeswoman for Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe confirmed it was putting together an economic stimulus package that will support local councils' workforces, including that of the Bundaberg Regional Council.
"Fortunately, we have a significant track record of supporting our local government authorities in Queensland, with the Palaszczuk Government's $600 million Works for Queensland program aimed specifically at regional and remote areas with high unemployment," she said.
But the Bundaberg Regional Council's bid for economic stimulus goes beyond Works for Queensland, which since its creation in 2016 targeted local maintenance and infrastructure work.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said its project requests to the State Government included streetscape improvements worth $613,000 to the major entry and exit streets to the distillery.
"Bundaberg Rum is a major tourist drawcard for the Bundaberg region and this upgrade will recognise its position as a regionally significant tourist destination," he said.
Other projects the council requested funding for included the Anzac Park's water recreation facility, a high speed internet project, an upgrade to the Saltwater Creek culvert in Barolin St, and the Challenger Learning Centre.
LGAQ president Mark Jamieson said local councils were prepared to help address the economic challenges that will be faced in Queensland as a result of COVID-19.
He said the lobbied stimulus package was aimed at creating more than 14,000 jobs.
It also aimed to look at councils taking on local apprentices and trainees at risk of losing their opportunities.
This was an idea that Bundaberg deputy mayor Bill Trevor suggested in March.
"What I'm calling for is a national partnership between local government, state government and federal government to pick up those young apprentices that might be put off part-way through their apprenticeship and create a new range of apprenticeships going forward, so that the economy will be better placed to rise once it's over," Cr Trevor said at the time.