Sunshine Coast Council is set to receive $3.65 million in new funding, plus get early access to a further $6 million, as part of the Federal Government’s $1.8 billion boost for local road and community projects.
The investment is aimed at supporting local jobs and businesses to help stimulate local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19.
Sunshine Coast MPs Ted O’Brien and Andrew Wallace have applauded the timely funding boost for local councils. Nationally, the package comprises of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program as well as the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said accelerating local priority projects would allow Council to employ more people locally and support local businesses.
“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy across the Sunshine Coast, it will improve our local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Local road projects which can be delivered under the Program include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting, and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.”
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said he was keen to see projects get under way as soon as possible to support jobs and businesses.
“A broad range of community infrastructure projects will be eligible including upgrades to bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, park picnic shelters and barbeque facilities,” Mr Wallace said.
“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the $3.65 million allocation to Council and said this would assist with progressing a range of local road and community facility improvements.
“This welcome boost will help to deliver important local infrastructure at a time when we need to see construction activity being maintained and local people employed,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“I am also pleased to see the Federal Government’s decision to bring forward the first tranche of the annual Financial Assistance Grant payment to Councils, which also provides another injection into the work we are doing on the ground to assist our community recover from the pandemic and the associated national public health directions.
“Communities thrive when all levels of government work together and today’s announcement is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.”
Guidelines for the Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Allocations under the Financial Assistance Grant and Local Road and Community Infrastructure programs can be found at https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci.