LGAQ floats stimulus package for Qld local communities

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) wants state government support for a Covid-19 plan by councils to create jobs, stimulate local economies, and provide ratepayer relief.

The $608 million plan includes a new capital works program, funding for a 3000-strong “green army” to protect and improve the environment for the tourism and agricultural industries, and training for 800 displaced workers through local government apprenticeships and traineeships.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam says the plan is not a handout for councils but rather “a hand up for communities and a bridge to better times”.

“Queensland councils are ready, willing and able to play their part,” Mr Hallam said.  “They have the ideas and projects to make a flying start.

“Councils have a critical contribution to make in the economic recovery of their communities, as well as the recovery of the state and the nation.”

Half of the $200 million capital works program would be spent on building and improving roads, bridges, parks and water infrastructure in the state’s south-east, while bushfire mitigation would form an integral part of the Green Army’s work.

LGAQ president Mark Jamieson said local governments continued to lobby for more federal Financial Assistance Grant money.