LABOR MUST REVEAL WIDE BAY COUNCIL’S ROADS AND COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUND ALLOCATION
Local councils throughout Wide Bay are still waiting on the Albanese Labor Government to release their funding allocations under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien has called on the Albanese Government to end the secrecy and uncertainty and provide advice to councils on how much funding they will receive.
“Local Governments need time to develop, plan, and prioritise their projects but before they can commit to delivering them, they first need to be able to budget for them,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Councils planning activities will be hamstrung until they know what will be in their Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program funding envelope from the Federal Government.”
“If councils are kept in the dark by the Federal Labor Government on how much funding they will receive, they won’t be able to upgrade the roads and deliver community projects their ratepayers expect of them.”
“Labor is showing complete disrespect for the Wide Bay councils by withholding advice about when they will receive promised funding and how much will be made available.”
At the last election, Labor promised to extend a highly successful Coalition program by investing $750 million for local roads and community infrastructure, including $500 million additional funding budgeted by the former Coalition Government.”
“This is a popular program strongly supported by local government because it provides a source of untied funding which they can use to upgrade roads or invest in other community infrastructure to help local families and businesses.”
“Councils are relying on funding being available from 1 July, but after eight months in office the Labor Government has failed to provide any information to councils as to their funding allocation and the conditions and guidelines for it.”
“Labor’s eight months of secrecy with this program compares poorly to the former Coalition Government’s open and efficient process, where councils were told exactly how much money they would receive within a few weeks of an extra $500 million being committed in the March 2022 Federal budget.”
In Wide Bay, the Coalition had budgeted for councils to receive the following amounts:
Fraser Coast Regional Council $1,912,057
Gympie Regional Council $1,361,802
South Burnett Regional Council $1,644,465
Noosa Council $790,346
Sunshine Coast Regional Council $3,653,767
Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council $39,849
At Senate Estimates when clarification was sought from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Department was unable to confirm whether Labor would honour this and other funding commitments.
A previous round of the program from the former Liberal and Nationals Government supported 250 FTE jobs across Wide Bay, with councils receiving more than $5 million to build safer roads and improve community facilities, including:
- Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council – $41,554 to upgrade the Barambah Ave and Fisher Street/Marshall Street junction roundabout area and drains at Cherbourg, supporting 12 jobs.
- Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council – $20,000 to upgrade car park and driveway at Collins Road, Cherbourg, supporting five jobs.
- Fraser Coast Regional Council – $780,000 for an additional 105 parks at the Brolga Theatre Carpark, supporting 12 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $120,000 to upgrade the Albert Park Touch Carpark, supporting 17 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $148,000 to seal Excelsior Road beyond Hyne Street, supporting 10 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $98,000 to upgrade Laminex Road, including curve widening and resurfacing, supporting 10 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $221,000 to upgrade Mellor Street, supporting 11 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $441,000 to upgrade the kerb, channels and surfaces of Pronger Parade and Smith Street in the Glanmire industrial area, supporting 10 jobs.
- Gympie Regional Council – $758,507 to upgrade two Thornside Road floodways, supporting 8 jobs.