$250m Federal Budget boost for Building Better Regions Fund

The Morrison Government will earmark an additional $250 million for a Sixth Round of Building Better Regions Fund in next week’s Federal Budget.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement in a speech at Rockhampton on Wednesday, where he thanked local government for the job “you are doing on behalf of your local communities”.

“This extra money for a sixth round of the Building Better Regions Fund is a $250 million vote of confidence in the future of our regions,” he said.

“It will further accelerate regional recovery and delivery growth, community renewal, more jobs, and new workforce skills for the long term.

“This year’s Budget is about saying ‘keep it up please’ but also ‘thank you’,” Mr McCormack said.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to regional Australia, it’s about showing our local communities we will always have their back as they navigate the post-pandemic future.”

Tuesday’s Budget will also include funding of $105.8 million for Round 2 of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).

A further $24.6 million will be earmarked to fund additional shovel-ready Round 1 projects.

Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said $45.6 million of money for Round 2 funding will be quarantined for projects in northern Australia.

The Budget will also fund a new program to improve mobile connectivity in bushfire-prone peri-urban areas will also feature in the Budget.

The $16.4 million Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP) will provide grant funding to mobile network operators and infrastructure providers to deploy new mobile phone infrastructure to improve mobile reception and coverage on the edges of Australia’s major cities.

The program will run a competitive assessment process to provide funding to assist the deployment of new and improved mobile infrastructure which addresses identified quality of service and reception issues in targeted areas.

The new program is intended to complement the Mobile Black Spot Program.