Election Watch: Halfway mark
Election Watch: Halfway mark
The best way to generate jobs in the regions, highway linkages and water security have been the key themes relevant to councils throughout the first half of the campaign.
Here’s a quick wrap-up of the election announcements so far relevant to local government.
- Works for Queensland: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has reaffirmed her support for the program, announcing $200 million extension.
- Bruce Highway Trust: A proposed multi-stakeholder group established to help plan and prioritise investment on Bruce Highway.
- Skilling Queensland: An additional $180 million over three years to help skill Queenslanders for work, including an increase in the number of subsidised trainee and apprentice positions for local government.
- Tourism: Councils will be eligible to bid for funding under Labor’s proposed $36 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure and Experience Development Program.
- Agriculture and jobs growth: $5 million to fund wild dog exclusion fencing in western and southern Queensland.
- Collaboration: A proposed agricultural advisory council to improve collaboration between industry and government.
- Export distribution: $10 million from Jobs and Regional Growth Fund for a joint industry and local government business case and capital investment for an export distribution centre pilot in regional Queensland.
- Roads and bridges: $60 million on upgrading major beef roads and $80 million on a range of bridge projects.
- Tourism: A $2 million campaign focusing on Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast, plus $3 million in additional funding for RTO’s and councils to showcase their regions. View the Build a Better Queensland Plan here.
- Water security: $1.3 billion injection into new dam infrastructure if it wins government on 25 November.
- Royalties for the Regions: Intends to reinstate the program in a competitive open funding program.
- Renewable energy: Set up a one-stop shop to facilitate approvals for renewable energy projects.
Greens, One Nation Party and Katter's Australian Party policies
Comparatively fewer announcements from the minor parties in the first half of the campaign. A summary of relevant policies as follows:
Greens: Full Plan
- Flat $1 bus and train fares SEQ and establishment of a Queensland Public Infrastructure Bank.
- Promote local area solutions for urban water cycle management.
- Provide support for local governments to review stormwater and wastewater flows and recycling.
- Reintroduce an Industry Waste Levy.
- Make it an urgent priority to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Queenslanders by ensuring that all health services are based on the Indigenous understanding of health as described in the National Aboriginal Health Strategy.
- Review and amend the Coast Management Plan 2014 and State Planning Policy 2014 to include climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- Repeal all state Indigenous alcohol laws and hand full control of alcohol management to local Indigenous authorities, and communities.
- Implement intensive economic development projects based on Indigenous land, especially in remote communities and ensure that they have access to sustainable water, power, sewerage and telecommunication services.
One Nation Party: Full Plan
- Commitment to a ‘hybrid’ Bradfield Scheme approach to water security.
- Crocodile management: Regularly patrolled ‘no-tolerance areas’ where any crocodiles found are removed.
- Fund wild dog eradication program in sheep country and pig controls in the North.
- Encourage new industry and business in Queensland by reducing ‘red and green tape.’
Katter's Australian Party: Full Plan
- Enable croc-culling by landholders and indigenous groups, as well as the establishment of an egg harvesting program and removal of flying foxes from populated areas.
- Commitment to review and amend AMPs (Alcohol Management Plans).
- Review of the methodology for Financial Assistance Grants to local government to ensure regional councils are given a greater share.
- Royalty retention: A new royalty framework ensuring greater proportion of royalties are reinvested in the regions.
- Promotion of greater sealed roads and infrastructure for rural and regional Queensland.
- Commitment to ensure inalienable title deeds can be issued to first Australians for land in Community Areas.
The LGAQ is expecting all the relevant parties to respond to each point in its 10 Point State Election Plan next week. Key priorities for Queensland councils include:
- $500 million in base funding, indexed each year, for a state-wide, allocative, outcome focused program building on the Works for Queensland model to support essential local government services and infrastructure.
- $44 million to fund programs to better manage waste and natural resources, protect the Great Barrier Reef, adapt to climate change and reduce the harm caused by weeds and feral animals.
- $22.5 million to support child literacy and development initiatives in public libraries.
- $80 million a year for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme and a commitment to review passenger and freight services for regional and rural Queensland to achieve greater equity.
Read a summary of the 10 priorities here.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006