Federal Government fast-tracks JobMaker funds
FIRST it was JobKeeper, JobSeeker and now JobMaker.
With Australia headed into its first recession in 30 years under Covid-19 the Morrison-McCormack government is again opening up the treasury coffers to stimulate the economy and support an estimated 66,00 future jobs.
Small 'shovel-ready' infrastructure projects will be fast-tracked with an additional $1.5 billion being spent across the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said accelerated infrastructure development would be a key part of the Government's JobMaker plan.
"Yesterday's announcement by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge has provided momentum for our recovery and follows $22 million for infrastructure already announced for councils in Cowper," Mr Conaghan said.
Importantly, $1.5 billion of new funding will be provided straight away across the country for small shovel-ready infrastructure projects and improvements to our roads.
"Road safety programs like the Black Spot Program and Roads to Recovery Program have helped to make regional roads safer for motorists, so as chair of the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety, I look forward to seeing what improvements will be provided through this additional infrastructure spending," he said.
Mr Conaghan said the Australian Government has brought forward or provided additional infrastructure funds of $9.3 billion over the past eight months.
To build the pipeline of future projects, the government wants to speed up progress by improving approvals processes and it has identified a priority list of 15 mega projects being fast-tracked under a bilateral model between the Commonwealth, States and Territories.
Some of the 15 projects worth more than $72 billion in public and private investment are:
- Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane
- Marinus Link between Tasmania and Victoria
- Olympic Dam extension in South Australia
- Emergency town water projects in New South Wales
- Road, rail and iron ore projects in Western Australia.
In May, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced $22 million funding would be brought forward for councils to deliver road and infrastructure projects in Cowper:
- Coffs Harbour City Council received $1,382,096 in Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program funding, plus $3,981,914 in 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant Program funding brought forward
- Bellingen Shire Council: $594,625 in Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program funding, plus $2,023,857 in Financial Assistance Grant Program funding brought forward
- Nambucca Valley Council: $768,865 in Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program funding, plus $2,129,024 in Financial Assistance Grant Program funding brought forward
- Kempsey Shire Council: $1,160,188 in Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program funding, plus $3,251,995 in Financial Assistance Grant Program funding brought forward
- Port Macquarie-Hastings Council: $1,826,618 in Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program funding, plus $4,931,822 in Financial Assistance Grant Program funding brought forward.
This makes a total investment of $22,051,004 for the Cowper electorate.
For Coffs Harbour in particular the $1.5 billion Coffs Harbour Bypass is anticipated to create a wealth of employment and spin-off investments in the city as the regional economy rebuilds its strength in coming years.
The Federal Government and Roads and Maritime Services have committed to a start date on the project at the end of this year, with the 14km upgrade seeing the Pacific Highway deviate west of Coffs Harbour expected to be completed by 2024.
With the $4.9-billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade over 155km speeding towards completion and to be 85% completed in 2020, the Coffs Harbour project will be the final upgrade between Hexham and Tweed Heads and one of the highway's most expensive per kilometre builds.