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    Media Statements

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

    Canberra’s Northern Australia agenda all talk - no action

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Canberra’s Northern Australia agenda all talk - no action

    The Turnbull-Joyce Government’s $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has failed to lend any funding more than 600 days after it was first trumpeted, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

    The Premier said the Federal Government’s northern Australia agenda was in tatters with NAIF and the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund have provided no funding for regional Queensland.

    “Unfortunately not one cent has been providedby the Turnbull Government to support jobs and investment in regional Queensland from either the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund,” the Premier said. 

    “It has now been over 600 days since these funds were announced and still not one cent has been provided to support jobs and investment in regional Queensland.”

    “My Government has even stepped in to provide $15 million to fund feasibility studies for the Turnbull Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.”

    “It’s time the Turnbull Government got this promised funding out the door.”

    In stark contrast, the Palaszczuk Government is creating jobs and delivering infrastructure by working with communities, businesses and local councils across regional Queensland.

    The Palaszczuk Government has a dedicated suite of more than $1 billion regional jobs and infrastructure programs, including the $200 million Works for Queensland and the $100 million Back to Workprogram.

    “As of today, there are Back to Work employer support payments for 1805 new jobs in regional Queensland. I am advised there are almost another 700 applications pending for approval,” she said.

    “The $200 million Works for Queensland program was announced in December. Councils were asked for shovel-ready projects in January. They responded in the first week of February and 723 approved projects were announced this week. All projects are to be completed by November this year and are expected to generate almost 6000 jobs.”

    “My Government also knows the importance of accessing services to ensure those working and living in regional Queensland get quality healthcare and their children receive the best possible education."

    “We also know the employment of additional doctors, nurses, teachers, teacher aides, police, ambulance, firefighters and child safety officers not only provides critical frontline services locallly, but deliver additional salaries - and draw family member of those officers - that boost economic activity in the regional cities and rural towns.”

    “The reverse was the case when the LNP cut 14,000 government workers across the State during its time in government. For communities contending with a prolonged severe drought and depressed commodity prices, these cuts were cruel and deep.”

    The Premier said in addition to Works for Queensland and Back to Work program, other dedicated job-generating programs in regional Queensland include:

    • $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. So far more than 600 jobs have been supported with 51 projects in the second funding round;
    • $200 million Works for Queensland program to support local councils across the state undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects. Works for Queensland will support 723 projects and 6,000 jobs;
    • $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;
    • $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund. The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is providing assistance for projects that require direct and immediate assistance to protect and create jobs. Already $15 million has been committed to support the 4,000 North West region copper and zinc workers through the rebricking of the Mount Isa Mines’ copper smelter.
    • $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.Already 230 Queensland businesses have registered to be part of the job-generating program.

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