Harry Bruce's cartoon.
Harry Bruce's cartoon.

5 things our pollies did in Mackay this week

HELP for community groups and COVID-19 support for businesses were on the agenda this week.

Also, if you missed the results of our state election issues poll, you can check it out here.

Galilee mining royalties fund

All mining royalties from the soon-to-be-developed Galilee Basin will go into a Northern Development Fund, if NQ First secures the balance of power at the October state election.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said he wanted every cent from the new minerals province directed into a special infrastructure fund, focused on delivering billions of dollars in job-creating projects in North, Far North and Central Queensland.

"In the wake of COVID-19, I want to see an economic recovery starting in the regions, as opposed to the southeast corner, which will go nuts when they read up on our proposal to quarantine these riches," the NQ First leader said.

MINING PLAN: North Queensland First leader Jason Costigan visiting the site of the former mining township of Mary Kathleen, between Cloncurry and Mt Isa.
MINING PLAN: North Queensland First leader Jason Costigan visiting the site of the former mining township of Mary Kathleen, between Cloncurry and Mt Isa.

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Community groups share in $340,000 from gambling fund

A dinghy, electronic scoreboard and high jump mats are just some purchases local community groups will make thanks to the latest round of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said more than $340,000 would be shared between 18 local groups in Mackay-Whitsunday from the State Government kitty.

"Mackay City Ladies Bowling and Pioneer Swimming Club are both set for new equipment, while Mackay City Rugby Union and East Mackay AFL will undertake major facility upgrades," she said.

"Elsewhere, there's exciting news for Pioneer Community Kindy with confirmation their outdoor play area upgrade can go ahead with a $17,500 grant, and OzCare has secured $11,000 to purchase new tables, chairs and cupboards for their Home Care service."

A full list of recipients is available here.

CASH SPLASH: More than $340,000 would be shared between 18 local groups in Mackay-Whitsunday.
CASH SPLASH: More than $340,000 would be shared between 18 local groups in Mackay-Whitsunday.

Help to lower power bills

Two Mackay community groups will be able to lower their power bills thanks to successful grant applications under the Federal Government's Energy Efficient Communities Program.

Dawson MP George Christensen said St Vincent de Paul Mackay and Split Spaces would each receive $12,500 for energy saving projects.

"Tackling running costs such as electricity is very difficult for our smaller community groups, so when we can provide some assistance with these expenses, these groups can direct their limited funds to the more important work they are involved in," Mr Christensen said.

In addition to grants for community organisations, the program will provide $10 million for dairy farming businesses, $9 million for small businesses and $15 million for high energy-using businesses.

Applications are now open for the dairy and small business round.

Businesses that wish to apply for a grant can access the guidelines and application forms at business.gov.au

Camm's call to change COVID-19 funding criteria

Some of the region's hardest hit businesses do not qualify for a COVID-19 grant program, sparking calls earlier this week for a change in the criteria.

The State Government's Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program aims to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns to adapt and sustain their operations.

But some hospitality and tourism businesses are ineligible for the grant because the criteria states they must have fewer than 20 employees.

LNP Whitsunday candidate Amanda Camm said the funding criteria did not consider that many small operators had to put on more staff to meet new COVID-19 restrictions.

"The State Government needs to review the eligibility criteria and ensure those businesses, particularly across hospitality and tourism in the Whitsundays, are able to access that funding," she said.

LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm. Picture: Melanie Whiting
LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm. Picture: Melanie Whiting

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Last supports new pub for Glenden

This week it was revealed residents of Glenden are being forced to travel more than 80km to get a beer after their local watering hole shut down more than 12 months ago.

Burdekin MP Dale Last said he was keen to see a community club or hotel back up and running in the town as soon as possible.

"A community club acts as a meeting place and somewhere for families and workers to meet and relax," he said.

"Not having a facility like that in Glenden has really left a gaping hole in that community."


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