As published by The Chronicle on 12th June 2018
ROADS, health and rural residents are the key focus of the Queensland Government’s 2018-19 budget commitment to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.
Hot on the heels of its June 11 announcement that it will spend $40 million on the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, the government today splashed a huge wad of cash on health ($950.9 million) infrastructure ($1.26 billion), education ($50.7 million) and drought relief ($34.6 million).
Education funding for Toowoomba includes:
– $5.6 million for the $7.9 million Highfields State Secondary College sports hall and eight new learning areas.
– $11.1 million for the Harristown High School’s additional classrooms. This $12 million project will lead to 14 new learning areas and four specialist areas.
– $8.9 million towards the $9.2 million construction of a new arts centre and classroom refurbishment at Centenary Heights State High School.
– $4 million towards the redevelopment of Toowoomba’s TAFE.
– $3.6 million for the Tara Shire State College early years service construction.
Major road commitments included:
$14.5 million for the Warego Highway rail crossing upgrade (Chinchilla).
$20.2 million towards the $35 million Warrego highway overtaking lines between Dalby and Miles.
$21.3 million for the Dalby Eastern and Western Access upgrades.
$8.7 million for the $6.5 million Carnarvon Highway widening between St George and Surat.
Priority spending in Toowoomba included:
– $7 milllion towards the $7.5 million New England Highway Cycleway (Toowoomba CBD to Highfields).
– $4.2 million towards job creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects run by local governments.
– $5 million for training and increased workforce participation via the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
– $1.2m for the ongoing construction of Drayton’s new ambulance station.
– $3 million for the Charlton fire and rescue service. This is a $10.6 million project.
– $176,000 for maintenance and other works at the Cobb & Co Museum.
– $43,800 towards the $438,000 Crows Nest elderly patient’s initiative.
– $155,000 for the First Five Forever family literacy initiative.
Major spending in rural areas included:
– $40.1 million to upgrade Roma Hospital.
– $503,000 for works at multi-purpose health services in Augathella, Dirranbandi, Mitchell and Mungindi.
– $500,000 towards Yarraman’s new fire and rescue station.
– $751,000 for Dalby’s civic centre redevelopment.
– $9.6 million to manage abandoned mines at the Linc Energy mine site.
– $15.8 million towards the $51 million underground coal gasification project.