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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    $130 million fund boosts regional Queensland jobs plan to $1 billion

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Wednesday, February 01, 2017

    $130 million fund boosts regional Queensland jobs plan to $1 billion

    The Palaszczuk Government has launched the $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund as part of its $1 billion plan to create jobs outside the State’s south-east.

    Addressing the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland in Yeppoon today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Fund was part of the Government’s plan to fund new infrastructure and provide direct incentives to employers to create jobs in regional Queensland.

    “To create more jobs in regional Queensland, my Government is fast-tracking our own infrastructure, helping councils to deliver projects and assisting businesses to take on new employees,” the Premier said.

    “I am determined to turn these programs into jobs as soon as possible.

    “Queensland’s unemployment rate is down to 6% from 6.6% where the previous LNP Government left it. However, the combined challenges of severe drought and the end of the mining boom have cost jobs in regional Queensland.

    “The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will provide one-off financial assistance from $100,000 to $10 million in either direct grants or relief of State charges to promote growth and job creation.”

    The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund would provide assistance for:

    • projects that require direct and immediate assistance to help early stage development, such as feasibility studies;
    • more substantial assistance for more developed businesses to expedite or facilitate project implementation; or
    • development of common-user infrastructure opportunities to underpin development of multiple projects.

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Government was consulting with industry across a broad range of sectors and regions in relation to the fund. Applications for financial assistance are invited from proponents.

    “Queensland’s improved budget position means we can include extra initiatives for our regions, like this Fund, to ensure we work with local businesses to create jobs and economic opportunities in the regions,” Mr Pitt said.

    “Job creation, especially jobs in our regions, remains the focus of our economic plan.

    “Those businesses and industries with plans to grow, we want to work with you.”

    The $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is in addition to:

    • $375 million Building Our Regions is a targeted regional infrastructure program for local government projects, primarily for critical infrastructure in regional areas of the state. The $70 million third round of the program was opened for applications on Monday (30 January);
    • $200 million Works for Queensland program to support local councils across the state undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects. Sixty-five regional councils notified of funding allocation on the basis of population and local unemployment. and invited to nominate projects by early February;
    • $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program, part of the State Infrastructure Fund, is fast-tracking key economic and social infrastructure projects in regional centres right across Queensland including transport, health and education infrastructure;
    • $100 million Back to Work provides incentives of up to $20,000 for employers taking on unemployed workers. More than 1200 jobs have been supported through the program;
    • $40 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Program to attract businesses to Queensland, either to relocate or establish new projects in the State; and
    • $20 million Made in Queensland to providing support to Queensland’s manufacturing sector through grants supplementing industry contributions.

    Almost half of the Government’s $10.7 billion investment in infrastructure in 2016-17 has been devoted to regional Queensland, with more than $880 million committed to the Fitzroy Region.

    Yesterday, the Government announced an additional $200 million would be invested in the expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre north of Rockhampton, creating more than 100 jobs in construction and another 70 in ongoing operations.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791