As part of Labor’s strategy for economic recovery in Queensland, Premier Palaszczuk has created a $200 million program to be delivered in 2020–21 called COVID Works for Queensland. These funds will go towards a wide variety of shovel-ready projects across regional areas of Queensland.
Available to all state councils, the COVID W4Q program is a non-competitive and allocation-based funding plan which can be used to support the creation and delivery of jobs. This can include any new infrastructure, minor works, or maintenance projects as well as bringing forward of any pre-planned and budgeted capital works or maintenance, as long as there will be positive outcomes in economic development or community wellbeing.
Approved allocation of funding have been determined using a $1 million base allocation, with an additional amount reflecting the levels of unemployment in each area. $50 million of the program’s available funding has already been allocated to councils across South East Queensland, while $150 million has been shared by councils in other areas of Queensland.
Townsville City Council was awarded the largest share with a total of $13,540,000, whereas a number of shire councils received the smallest amount of $1,020,000. Other portions of the $200 million from the COVID Works for Queensland program has been allocated to local governments that have been committed to delivering more active transport options like more separated bike paths.
For example, Brisbane City Council received funding for separated bi-directional pathways around the CBD which provides safe and direct inner-city connections for commuting cyclists and pedestrians. The BCC is also widening the existing pathways from St Vincent’s Hospital located at Kangaroo Point to River Terrace, as well as the installation of new lighting fixtures on the Bulimba Creek Bikeway between Freesia Street in MacGregor and the Veloway V1.