The catch to getting a slice of the COVID recovery pie
HALF a billion dollars will be spent on infrastructure projects in Dawson this financial year, MP George Christensen said.
This is part of more than $3 billion in funding for Dawson earmarked in forward estimates in tonight's Federal Budget, he said.
He described the historic financial blueprint as a "very good outcome" for the Mackay Whitsunday region.
The Goorganga Plains floodproofing project is included in the $500 million allocated for this financial year.
The Dawson MP said road projects such as the Walkerston Bypass, Mackay Northern Access upgrade, Mackay Ring Road Stage Two and the Peak Downs Highway were earmarked for cash but there was no new money listed for immediate use in the budget documents.
He said the Mackay and Whitsunday councils would receive $6 million in road and infrastructure funding.
More than $2.2 million has been allocated to upgrade the Caping Rd Bridge at Bloomsbury.
"On top of that, there are great opportunities for the region through funding programs - one is the Regional Recovery Partnerships fund," Mr Christensen said.
"Only a select number of regions can apply for a share in $100 million over two years which focuses on targeted initiatives to deliver jobs, economic recovery and diversification.
"Mackay Isaac Whitsunday is one of only 10 areas across the country vying for those funds."
Regional Capitals Australia chairman Shane Van Styn said the fund would provided much-needed stimulus towards investments in roads, rail, aviation and local community projects.
"This stimulus will have substantial benefits for regional capital cities and ensure our cities can lead the much needed regional recovery that now needs to take place," Mayor Van Styn said.
"We also welcome the initiatives to better connect our cities through investment in the NBN and mobile infrastructure which will be imperative to begin the task of making sure our cities can attract new investment and businesses to assist with this recovery."
Mr Christensen said the region may also benefit from $2 billion in water infrastructure funding, which could go towards the Urannah Dam project.
"I have already had contact from the proponents for Urannah Dam, and they will be pursuing the government for some of those funds to continue the project," he said.
"A lot of funding in budget is in (grant) programs, which we need to put in good applications for good projects to get funding for our regions."
Mr Christensen said the budget would deliver a much-needed economic boost to the region over the next year.
"With all of the other national (support) measures already announced, it's a budget that has been designed as a fightback against the pandemic recession," he said.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the budget had delivered a record spend on skills and training to ensure Central and North Queensland job seekers had the tools to get a job.
"We are also further assisting first home buyers and the construction sector by extending the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to another 10,000 places and providing an additional $1 billion of low cost finance to support the construction of affordable housing," she said.
The Capricornia MP said the Morrison Government was investing in manufacturing capability to ensure Australia had an internationally competitive and resilient manufacturing sector.
Ms Landry said incentives for businesses to invest in their business would create more economic activity and jobs in the Central Queensland community.
Tax relief for Capricornia businesses includes allowing 99 per cent of businesses to deduct the full cost of depreciable assets in the year they are installed, and allowing companies with a turnover of up to $5 billion to offset losses against previous profits on which tax has been paid to generate a refund.
"We will also simplify access to credit for households and small businesses, to support the economic recovery," Ms Landry said.
Greater Whitsunday Alliance chief executive Kylie Porter described the budget as "mind-blowingly big".
"I think the Federal Government is certainly focused on spending and stimulating the economy moving forward," Ms Porter said.
"It will be good to see more of the devil in the detail over the coming days."