Thanks a million: Noosa says jobs to flow from cash splash
NOOSA has scored a $1.83 million stimulus package as part of the Palaszczuk Government's $200 million COVID Works for Queensland program.
That compares with $5.35 million for the much larger Sunshine Coast Council area.
Noosa will benefit from job opportunities and new assets from bikeways and footpaths to sport and recreation facilities but the SEQ Council of Mayors are already crying foul of the distribution of funds throughout the state.
However Mayor Clare Stewart declared this "more good news for Noosa".
"It is the first time Noosa has received this funding," Cr Stewart said.
"It will deliver new jobs and new infrastructure into our region.
"Councillors will meet shortly to discuss potential uses of this money and I can assure you we will use it wisely and make good use of it," the Mayor said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would have an enormous impact on the region and the State, with up to 8000 jobs being supported or created across Queensland.
"The allocation of $7.18 million to the (Coast) region's councils will see projects delivered that will have long-term economic benefits and increase liveability in these communities," the premier said.
"I know Queenslanders are resilient but our Government also recognises how difficult it has been for the region with economic hardship and unemployment in the wake of this pandemic.
"COVID Works for Queensland funding will provide a huge lift for employment opportunities, local economies, and most importantly community spirit."
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said that in the past three years, the Works for Queensland program had been very successful in regional Queensland, delivering more than 19,000 jobs and counting.
"Now every council, including those in southeast Queensland, will be given a boost to deliver job-creating infrastructure and maintenance projects," he said.
"We have never had to deal with anything like the repercussions from this pandemic, which is why the Queensland Government has put together the $6 billion economic recovery strategy Unite and recover for Queensland Jobs.
Council of Mayors chair Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner questioned the Queensland Government's rationale for the funding allocation, given the population and the threat of unemployment was greatest in South East Queensland.
"The amount of funding allocated to southeast Queensland is insulting, given that it is home to 70 per cent of Queenslanders," Cr Schrinner said.
"This is a kick in the teeth for residents and businesses of the southeast and we will end up paying the price.
"Based on our region's population and unemployment rate, we should be getting a significant chunk of funding. Instead the 12 councils in southeast Queensland, some of the largest in Australia, will have to share a miserly $50 million.
"This funding is about creating jobs for Queenslanders, but clearly for the State that means Queenslanders who live outside of southeast Queensland."