Royalties for Regions to roll out $495m to critical projects
THE long-awaited Toowoomba CBD ring-road, the strained Dysart Medical Centre and problematic resources roads around the State will be the first to benefit from Royalties for Regions funding.
The fund, designed to help communities negatively impacted by the resources boom, will roll out $495 million over four years with $60 million to be handed out this financial year to critical projects.
More than $40 million has been allocated to fixing resource roads in 2012-2013 with the remaining $20 million to be divided between community infrastructure and flood plain security.
Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney announced in Kingaroy on Tuesday the successful projects short-listed to share in this year's funding pie.
The election-promised Toowoomba CBD ring-road project will be funded in the inaugural Royalties for Regions round.
Mr Seeney said reliving traffic pressure in the Toowoomba city centre was vital roadwork the State Government promised to act on.
The Bowen Development Rd in the Whitsunday Regional Council area and flood free access in the Belyando Estate in Moranbah also have been short listed.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said a further $65 million would be committed to regional roads in year two of the program from July next year.
"The Department of Transport and Main Roads is already working closely with local council and communities to finalise planning and the designs required to deliver these projects as soon as possible," he said.
The medical centre in the mining-rich town of Dysart has been short-listed for critical infrastructure funding alongside the Roma Sewerage Augmentation Project and Chinchilla Washdown Bay.
Levee construction in Roma also made the cut and improving rail capacity on the Nogoa River Rail Bridge in Emerald.
Councils will have to submit business cases on their respective projects before December 17 with a final go-ahead for the projects early in the New Year.
The Government received 71 expressions of interests for this year's $60 million fund pool but only six regional councils - Maranoa, Western Downs, Banana, Central Highlands, Isaac and Whitsunday - have been short listed for 20 projects.
Mr Seeney said the councils were faced with intense pressures from the resource sector expansion.
"We are now moving to address these problems," he said.
"Spending will be directed to the areas with the most pressing problems where the biggest cumulative impact of resource development is occurring.
"But we know and understand development and growth are impacting across all mining regions and we will continue to target key problems in further Royalties for the Regions funding rounds.
- Resource Community Building Fund
- Dysart Medical Centre - Isaac Regional Council
- Roma Sewerage Augmentation Project - Maranoa Regional Council
- Miles Water, Sewerage and Recycled Water Scheme Stage 1 - Western Downs Regional Council
- Theodore Sewerage Treatment Plant - Banana Shire Council
- Chinchilla Washdown Bay - Western Downs Regional Council
- Maranoa Water Supply Project - Maranoa Regional Council
- Winfields Road Landfill Upgrade - Western Downs Regional Council
- Roads to Resources
- Belyando Estate, Moranbah - Flood Free Access -Belyando Estate Q50 Bridge - Isaac Regional Council
- Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - Western Downs Regional Council
- Goombi Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - Western Downs Regional Council
- Bennetts School Road Sealing - Western Downs Regional Council
- Upgrade Eidsvold Theodore Road - Banana Shire Council
- Wallumbilla North Bitumen Seal - Maranoa Regional Council
- Weranga North Road Upgrade - Western Downs Regional Council
- Mary Road Upgrade - Western Downs Regional Council
- Joseph Road Upgrade - Western Downs Regional Council
- Bowen Developmental Road - Collinsville to Bowen - Whitsunday Regional Council
- Beelbee Road Sealing - Western Downs Regional Council
- Floodplain Security Scheme
- Roma Flood Mitigation Project - Levee Construction - Maranoa Regional Council
- Nogoa River Rail Bridge Capacity Improvement - Central Highland Regional Council