“Whether you’re a concreter or a crane driver – this is a budget for you.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill is talking up the 2018-19 budget’s credentials as a job-maker, with the biggest infrastructure spend in Townsville City Council’s history.
The council has earmarked $432.5 million for infrastructure, including $158.9 million towards the Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project.
The budget also includes $69.2 million to be spent on upgrading roads other transport infrastructure, $15.9 million on the CBD utilities upgrade, $7.6 million on drains and stormwater management and $4.5 million for the upgrade of Tobruk Pool.
“I’m very proud to hand down the biggest ever investment in infrastructure our city has ever had,” Cr Hill said.
“This Budget delivers on my team’s promises, whether it’s upgrading basic infrastructure across our city, such as new roads and drains, or investing $158.9 million to build the new water pipeline.
“This record spend on infrastructure will ensure that our city gets back to work.”
Cr Hill said work packages on the new water pipeline had been tailored to ensure local firms had the best chance of securing work on the once-in-a-generation project.
“Council is also investing in upgrading infrastructure around the Stadium Precinct to encourage new developments to transform the area into a new destination for Townsville,” she said.
“These projects will not only be huge job creators during construction, they will help transform the city’s economy and providing lasting employment once operational.”
Pipeline spend to be repaid by State
Cr Hill said all money spent on the pipeline project would be fully refunded by the Queensland Government. In the meantime the council has set up a Working Capital Facility with the Queensland Treasury Corporation to get the funds flowing.
“Council has made sure the money will be available for the pipeline when it’s needed so there won’t be any delays with this crucial infrastructure project,” Cr Hill said.
Council will contribute $143.9 million to the water pipeline project in 2018-19, with State grant monies for the work to be received over the next three financial years.
Council will receive $15 million in funding from the Queensland Government in 2018-19 before receiving $100 million in each of the following two financial years.
Almost $7 million has been allocated in the council’s 2018-19 budget to start work on a new system to recycle water from the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant and send it to the Murray sporting fields through a new network of pipes to irrigate the playing fields.
This is another element of the city’s $225 million water security solution.