Funding to enhance regions

ROMA has already been handed $100,000 towards a levee bank in the flood-beleaguered western Queensland town.

But 14 other regional Queensland councils will have the opportunity to bid for critical infrastructure when the state government hands down its budget in September.

They can apply for funding under the $495 million Royalties to the Regions program towards community infrastructure, such as education and health facilities, community centres and sporting facilities.

Funding will also go towards enhancing the safety, connectivity and capacity of roads servicing resource communities and to floodplain security schemes such as building levees, flood bypasses, flood mitigation dams and flood retention basins.

Premier Campbell Newman told APN he met with the Roma mayor last month to discuss building a levee bank in the area so residents could get insurance.

"I provided them $100,000 last week to complete the study and that will be part of the Royalties for the Regions program which was one of the announcements we made," he said.

"In the budget handed down in September there will then be the first flow of funds from the royalties program which will be going back to regional communities for these projects."

In response to a question about whether the money could go towards housing initiatives in Central Queensland towns such as Blackwater, Moranbah and Emerald, he said the funding would not include any money for housing.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said it was time resource communities, placed under enormous strain by the mining boom, received a fair share of the profits.

"We want to make sure all Queenslanders share in the spoils of the mining boom," he said.

"Unfortunately, some councils are struggling to keep pace with the unprecedented demand for services and infrastructure. This fund will help them start to turn that around.

"Mining should leave a lasting legacy for Queensland: strong, well-built and well-serviced communities.

"Resource communities should be a place where workers can raise their families and small business can prosper."

The councils to benefit include Banana, Cloncurry, Barcaldine, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Isaac, Mackay, Maranoa, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Western Downs, Whitsunday and Townsville.

The first grants will be included in this year's budget and be delivered over four years. 



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