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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Accelerated Works Program to drive North Queensland jobs: Premier

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Accelerated Works Program to drive North Queensland jobs: Premier

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her Government will accelerate public works for the cities of Townsville, Cairns and surrounding regions.

    “We want more jobs and I want them now.  Accelerating public works is a start,” the Premier said.

    “I am determined to drive job generating growth this year.

    “Last year more than 60,000 new jobs were created in Queensland. Our $10.1 billion capital works program for 2015-16 will support 27,500 jobs.

    “I am proud of my Government’s record, but we will do more.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said the Accelerated Works Program will be designed to maintain confidence and bring forward more employment opportunities in North Queensland.

    An initial $61M in Accelerated Works Program (AWP) projects in Townsville, Cairns and surrounding regions have been identified.  These are:

    • $58M for road projects including Bruce Highway overtaking lanes between Ayr and Ingham and Alligator to Allendale and safety upgrades on Hervey’s Range Road between Lynam Road and Black River Road, Townsville; and
    • $3M for new trade training centres for Townsville and Cairns.

    “Accelerating regional public works will benefit the constructers and builders who welcomed our State-wide School Maintenance Program ahead of the Christmas school holidays late last year,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Under this program, hundreds of projects with a value of more than $26 million have been funded in State schools right across Queensland.”

    “All the AWP projects are part of my Government’s commitment to drive the economy and to sustain and create the new jobs we need,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “As part of this jobs drive I have written today to all Ministers asking for them to identify shovel ready projects for the North and across the State.”

    “I intend to roll-out Accelerated Works Programs (AWPs) for other regions and other parts of the North, including Mackay, as soon as possible.

    “In order to achieve this objective – I have today set my Ministers a two-week deadline to list priority projects across the State.  I expect the list for North Queensland within a week.”

    “All Government agencies and its businesses will also be asked what projects they can bring forward to part my Government’s AWPs.

    “No new funding is required to accelerate these projects. All accelerated projects are part of the $10.1 billion capital work programs announced in last year’s State Budget.

    “Our first roll-out of AWPs in North Queensland is being done knowing full well how job security and new jobs are top issues in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay right now.

    “With this firmly in mind, I am also writing to the Prime Minister reminding him of the need for the Federal Government to step up now and deliver for the North too.

    “The Federal Government contract to build new naval patrol boats in Cairns is a must.

    “So too, matching my Government’s $100 million commitment for Townsville’s new stadium. At the Prime Minister’s request, the business case for Townsville’s new stadium was forwarded to him in December.”

    17 January 2016

    Media contact: Premier’s Office 3719 7000