The Morrison Government will deliver substantial support to further assist Far North Queensland councils and shires thanks to an additional $1 billion for Phase 3 of the highly successful Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
The funding boost was announced as part of this week’s federal budget.
The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects.
Councils will be able to access funding through LRCI Phase 3 from 1 January 2022, with Phase 3 projects to be completed by 30 June 2023.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Cairns, Cape York and Torres Strait councils and shires will directly benefit from the funding boost.
He said this will support local jobs and the resilience of local economies and help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This program is designed to get shovels in the ground, support local jobs and boost local economies,” Mr Entsch said.
“This budget injection for our hard-working local councils means even more funding for upgrades to local roads, bike paths, community halls, playgrounds, parks and sports facilities, as well as improved accessibility to public facilities.
“Providing more time for planning and construction will enable local governments to consider a broader range of priority projects and potentially undertake larger, more complex developments to deliver even great benefits for their communities.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the new investment brings the total Australian Government commitment to the strongly supported and highly successful LRCI Program to $2.5 billion.
“This is fantastic news for local councils across Australia who will be able to access additional funding to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is all about supporting the resilience of local economies by delivering even more jobs to help communities bounce back from COVID-19, with the additional funding and a longer delivery window to provide greater flexibility for communities to address local priorities.”
Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton said councils have so far nominated more than 5,500 projects over the first two phases of the LRCI program.
He said construction on the first 2,900 projects are due to be completed by 30 June 2021.
“The Morrison Government understands that local governments play a critical role in delivering vital services and ensuring the quality of life for the communities they serve,” Mr Coulton said.
“I have been especially delighted to see how, over recent months, LRCI Program funding has enabled councils to support local communities to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Phase 3 will further assist our local communities in emerging from the pandemic stronger and more resilient.
“LRCI Phase 3 is expected to support an estimated 3,500 jobs over the life of the projects across the nation, particularly where employment in other sectors such as tourism been negatively impacted.”