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    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Govt fast tracks $27M - 188 new full-time jobs: Bligh

    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Govt fast tracks $27M - 188 new full-time jobs: Bligh

    Moranbah: Premier Anna Bligh has fast tracked $26.8 million in key mining area projects to secure and create new jobs for Queensland communities during the current global economic crisis.

    “The resources industry is being hit hard by the global economic slowdown and we need to respond quickly to ensure the future of mining communities and their families,” Ms Bligh said while at Moranbah North Mine.

    “In Blackwater in late August we announced the historic $100 million Sustainable Resource Communities Agreement – a partnership between government, industry and local communities.

    “Since then the economy and world outlook have changed dramatically, but my government’s resolve to support our regions and to retain and to create jobs within them has not,” she said.

    That three-year agreement targets new or upgraded roads, schools and health facilities.

    “Today, and again in the company of the Local Government Association of Queensland and the Queensland Resources Council, I reaffirm my government’s commitment to make these communities strong and better.

    “When good times return – and they will – we will be even better placed to share the benefits of our resource-rich regions.

    “Today we are funding $26.8 million of that $100 million five months early to deliver jobs, community projects and services.

    “More than $9.21 million will be spent by 1 July 2009 and at least 108 of 187 jobs linked to Agreement’s $100 million will be in place this calendar year.

    “Many of these projects we will source their materials locally and at times bring additional staff to the region.

    “One of the big ticket projects is an extra $5 million for passing lane works on the Peak Downs Highway. This is to construct overtaking lanes and safer intersections near Nebo between Cut Creek and Retreat Creek, the first of which will be completed by August 2009. This equates to 38 full-time jobs.

    Today’s $5 million significantly bolsters the 4.8km $6.75m upgrade already announced by Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt in November.

    “This is almost $12 million on one of Queensland’s most strategic regional roads.

    “These upgrades will result in a safer stretch of highway, especially for workers moving between the mines and the coast and for heavy vehicles and wide loads using this road.

    “Other examples of projects being fast tracked include:

    v$2 million Emerald Driver Training & Motorsport Complex, project will involve a facility for Driver Training, Heavy Plant Operator Training and a Motorsport element (15 FTE jobs).

    v$3.6 million expansion of Childcare Capacity in the Bowen Basin Blackwater, Clermont, Middlemount, Moura, Theodore, Moranbah, (28 FTE jobs).

    v$4.5 million Upgrade of Ardurad Road between Blackwater and BMA Central Administration Centre turn-off (34 FTE jobs)

    v$3.5 million contribution for the Moranbah Affordable Accommodation Project which will deliver 10, 1 Bedroom, 27, 2 Bedroom and 8, 3 Bedroom units of accommodation.

    v$1.6 million Moranbah Health Staff Accommodation, Accommodation for clinical staff - provision of 4x2 bedroom units - 1 in Moranbah, 1 in Clermont and 2 in Dysart. (Provision of accommodation will improve recruitment and retention rates for staff).

    “We expect the flow-on effects of these projects to benefit everyone from the local corner store to large-scale material suppliers.

    “My government will also be energetically applying our local purchasing policy and helping local companies to tender for projects.

    “Our goal is to keep people within their region.”

    Ms Bligh said these initial projects would be rolled out in the Bowen Basin.

    “While my Government continues to plan for the future as part of our Q2 vision, we are also prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep the State running during the current tough economic climate.”

    Media contact: Premier’s Office 3224 4500