ROYALTIES for the Regions funding is now totally off-limits to South East Queensland councils. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Royalties for the Regions program was broadened to “clearly reflect the objectives” of its newly released Regions Q strategy.
“SEQ councils will not receive funding under the R4R program and our LNP government remains to its core value of ensuring regional Queensland gets the infrastructure and services it needs,” Minister Seeney said.
This reassurance came as State Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter called on the Deputy Premier to “come clean” on his intentions for round 4 of the royalties program.
“Mr Seeney clearly states in his media release that it’s time to refocus the program, to broaden the scope to ensure these funds help to supercharge regional economies and provide jobs and long-term benefits for regional Queenslanders,” he said.
“I hope that isn’t code for helping to fund the LNP government’s expansionist programs such as roads, tunnels and office buildings in the South East, and bump up their employment figures.”
Mr Katter said Mount Isa was in need of funding for water and sewerage infrastructure beyond “the paltry $500,000” the city received for stage 2.
“This is one of the richest mineral provinces in the state, and we need to see funds we earn returned to Mount Isa so we can continue to be a progressive city,” Mr Katter said.
The state government has committed $495 million of funding over four years for the Royalties for the Region program and paid out more than $306 million in the first three rounds.
North West shires who have received a share of the funding so far include Cloncurry ($6.12 million), Carpentaria ($1 million), and McKinlay ($1 million), Mount Isa ($500,000) and Flinders ($300,000). Another $210 million is up for grabs in round 4 of the program.
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