Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch today welcomed additional funding packages announced in the federal budget for programs* that Far North Queensland always fared extremely well under.
Mr Entsch said the funding packages covered a range of areas including local road infrastructure, community groups, sporting groups, social programs and telecommunication infrastructure.
He said he expected significant local announcements for Far North Queensland would come from these funding streams over the coming months.
“It is fantastic to see these highly-successful programs receive additional funding because they are extremely important to many communities and organisations across the region,” he said.
“We are only able to fund and extend these programs because we have a strong economy and have managed the nation’s finances effectively.
“You cannot fund and expand these programs without a strong economy.”
Mr Entsch said he was particularly excited about two new initiatives announced in the budget.
“The new $60 million Regional Connectivity Package aims to improve internet and mobile services in regional areas including those in Far North Queensland,” he said.
“This initiative is on top of an additional $380 million for two new funding rounds of the highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program.
“Far North Queensland always does exceptionally well under the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“Only last month I announced six new mobile phone towers would be delivered across our region and I would expect further towers to be announced under the two newly announced rounds.
“Another new initiative announced in the budget is $100 million towards the Regional Airports Program for infrastructure upgrades that will improve airport safety and access across regional Australia.
“I expect the owners and operators of Weipa and Horn Island Airports will be extremely interested in this funding stream.
“This new initiative is on top of the allocation of $75.1 million to the Regional Aviation Access Fund to upgrade aerodromes in remote locations.
“Cape York airstrips always do exceptionally well under this funding stream, only last month I announced four upgrades to remote airstrips on top of the five I announced late last year.”
Federal Budget Funding Programs:
- The federal budget will extend the Safer Communities Fund with an additional $35.1 million for a further round of grants (Round Five)
- This budget delivers an additional $64.2 million towards the highly-successful Stronger Communities Program that invests in grassroots community organisations.
- An additional allocation of $100 million towards the Community Sport Infrastructure Program that has already delivered 456 projects across the country, including in Far North Queensland
- This budget continues to implement Sport 2030 Program with a $385.4 million package that funds sport in communities and schools and supports our elite athletes before, during and after their careers.
- There was an additional $30.2 million allocated to establish the Local School Community Fund to support priority projects in local schools that benefit students and their communities – the Leichhardt electorate will receive $500,000 under this initiative.
- An allocation of $550 million in increased funding for the Black Spots Program as part of a wider $2.2bn Road Safety Package.
- An additional $206.2 million towards Building Better Regions Fund – Round Four
- An additional $41 million to extend and expand the Sporting Schools Program to ensure primary and secondary school students have access to free sport-related activities.