Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has unveiled the first stage of an economic reset for Queensland to push back against the impact of COVID-19.
The Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy includes a pledge to maintain infrastructure investment at more than $50 billion over the next four years and a $400 million Accelerated Works Program to deliver new road, bridge and pavement sealing works.
There is a further $200 million in 2020-21 for Works for Queensland projects and an $11.25 million expansion of the Household Resilience Program in cyclone affected areas.
Ready for next phase in COVID-19 fight
“The way we have united in the face of an immense and unprecedented challenge has been extraordinary, and all Queenslanders have done a mighty job in beating what just 11 weeks ago were daunting odds,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The patient has been stabilised, so now it’s time to start down the road to recovery and recuperation.
“Now we must stay united, with a clear plan for this next phase – the first stage of our carefully implemented approach, which will ensure we continue to protect our health while backing Queensland jobs.
“The package of measures I am announcing today focuses on building the infrastructure we need for the future and accelerating construction projects to protect jobs now.
“We will also help local governments to deliver projects in their communities.”
Funds to spur energy and skills growth
The package includes several initiatives to enable growth in the energy sector and in skilling for the future:
- $20 million for free online training which includes training in safety and hygiene standards to keep COVID-19 contained;
- A further $14.8 million to support project development of the CopperString 2.0 project that will connect the North West Minerals Province with the national electricity market; and
- $20 million towards construction of a Queensland Apprenticeships Centre in renewable hydrogen at Beenleigh.
The Premier committed to additional support for small business.
“We will make $100 million available to support small businesses including Small Business Adaption Grants of up to $10,000 to support businesses through the pandemic,” she said.
The economic strategy also includes initiatives to support tourism, manufacturing and international education:
- $50 million for tourism infrastructure and more funding towards a domestic tourism campaign;
- Redirecting $50 million of industry attraction funding under the Making it for Queensland initiative to continue to expand manufacturing capacity for PPE, hand sanitiser and medical supplies to respond to COVID-19; and
- A $10 million support package to support international students and safeguard Queensland’s global education brand.
Industry feedback informed investment
The Premier said the package of measures built on $6 billion in support already committed to manage the health response, support Queensland businesses and families and protect local jobs.
“In recent weeks we have been listening to business and industry and the clear message is that Government investment needs to be directed at investment that will grow and diversify our economy into the future,” she said.
“The announcements I am making today are a direct result of engagement with industry representatives including from small business, manufacturing, tourism, mining, agriculture, hospitality, construction, housing and property.
“On the road ahead, a close partnership between the public and private sectors is absolutely vital to success.
“So I will establish a Queensland Industry Recovery Panel to ensure ongoing direct engagement with industry peak bodies.
“This is an economic framework that will create jobs by focusing on what we are good at – and by making more products here in Queensland.
“Our number one priority is backing Queensland jobs and doing it in a way that ensures we protect the good work to date that has helped us keep people healthy during the COVID19.”