Gladstone Region to benefit as regional Australia leads nation’s economic recovery

Gladstone Region to benefit as regional Australia leads nation’s economic recovery

The Australian Government is investing in our rural, regional and remote communities at time when it is needed most.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced a significant pre-Budget announcement to assist and support our regions well into the future.

The Gladstone Region will receive a much-needed boost thanks to a commitment of $135 million by the Liberal and Nationals Government to promote the recovery and resilience of regional Australia through our new $100 million Regional Recovery Partnerships program.

As part of the package, $30 million will be allocated to improve regional connectivity along with $5 million for a new Building Resilient Regional Leaders Initiative.

He said today’s announcements were in addition to the $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery initiative and the $200 million for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund.

“These measures are all part of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia, helping the regions bounce back and then thrive, to drive Australia’s economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“I’m excited by our regions, excited by their prospects, excited about what we are all – together – doing to overcome the challenges of today and build a better tomorrow.”

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said the Government understood the importance of communications connectivity for all Australians.

“That’s why we are providing an additional $30 million in funding for the Regional Connectivity Program to improve connectivity in regional and remote Australia,” Minister Coulton said.

“The Regional Connectivity Program is an important part of the Government’s investment in regional telecommunications.

“This additional funding means there is now up to $83 million available under the program for projects to improve connectivity outside of the National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed-line footprint.

“The Regional Connectivity Program will target investment in telecommunications infrastructure projects that respond to local priorities and maximise economic opportunities and social benefits for regional, rural and remote Australians.”

The Australian Government will also fund a new $5 million Building Resilient Regional Leaders Initiative to support current and emerging leaders to further develop their leadership skills.

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said the Regional Recovery Partnerships program would help the areas that have borne the brunt of COVID-19, as well as drought and last summer’s bushfires.

“The Gladstone region has been significantly affected by a number of disasters over the last 12 months and today’s announcement will be welcomed throughout the community. We are resilient and well primed to build on these opportunities and diversify its economy,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“This additional funding shows the Liberal National Government’s commitment to developing a package of targeted initiatives to deliver jobs, economic recovery and economic diversification to ensure we emerge from these unprecedented times in the best shape possible.”

This additional funding will bring regional support announced by the Liberal and Nationals Government in the past week to $385 million.