Mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the funding, saying it came at the perfect time as the region works through coronavirus.
Mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the funding, saying it came at the perfect time as the region works through coronavirus.

Whitsundays welcomes almost $4 million in funding

ROAD and community projects across the Whitsundays are set to receive a near $4 million boost that will create jobs and help kickstart the economy.

The funding is part of the Federal Government’s $1.8 billion package distributed to local governments across Australia and includes the establishment of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI).

Whitsunday Regional Council will receive $1,050,537 in LRCI funding and will also have their 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grants funding allocation of $2,861,034 brought forward.

This provides a total boost of $3,911,571 to use for projects such as roads, bridges, lighting or rest areas.

Funding can also be used for community infrastructure projects such as bicycle and walking paths or park picnic shelters and barbecue facilities.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the funding would help deliver much-needed infrastructure stimulus at a critical time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant revenue losses for my council, especially with the temporary closure of the airport,” he said.

“In my terms as mayor, I have worked closely with Mr Christensen to collaborate and leverage funding and this $3.9 million boost is another example of all tiers of government working together to benefit our community.

“Bringing forward the Financial Assistance Grant funding will bring much-needed certainty as councils frame their budgets for 2020/21.

“I will continue to advocate and work with Mr Christensen and the Federal Government to seek further opportunities to ensure the future economic sustainability of our region.”

Member for Dawson George Christensen also said the funding came at the perfect time as the region continued to grapple with the effects of coronavirus.

“Providing a funding injection for local infrastructure projects through our councils will support local jobs and boost our economy as we work through the recovery period from the COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.

“The focus of the new Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI) will be upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure, and I will work with Whitsunday Regional Council on what they’d like to invest in to make sure projects get under way to support jobs and businesses as soon as possible.

“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy in Mackay, it will improve our local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.”