Mixed Bag for North Queensland from State Budget

12th June 2024

Townsville Enterprise welcomes the Queensland Governments budget released today and acknowledges the government's commitment to relieving the cost-of-living challenges for North Queensland families, while still balancing economic priorities, health, and key infrastructure projects.   

The Budget handed down by Treasurer Cameron Dick MP today saw several Townsville North Queensland budget priorities funded, however some key projects still await support.  

Townsville Enterprise, CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith said: 

“Today’s State budget sees some welcomed investment in health, economic development and infrastructure projects. However, it also misses long-term economic opportunities in liveability and workforce attraction infrastructure such as the Waterfront Renewal, falls short on housing infrastructure funds, lacks tourism promotion funds, and has seen no commitment to Port Expansion Stage 2 and Flinders highway upgrades. It is a mixed bag with wins for some areas, but some significant gaps in others for regional Queensland,” said Ms Brumme-Smith 

“While todays budget announced several key infrastructure priorities, our focus is now shifting towards the state election in October. We need to see commitments to unfunded projects within the region’s Unlock the North priorities, from all sides of politics to secure the future of Townsville North Queensland.”  

“As a region we are anticipating a requirement for an additional 20,000 construction and operational workers in the next five years. With an unemployment rate of less than 3.6% and rental vacancies below 1%, we can’t wait another election cycle to see housing, workforce attraction and liveability commitments delivered. Our $34 billion project pipeline is at risk without full funding commitments to these key areas.” 

State Government Wins for North Queensland: 

  • $712 million for FY25 to break ground on CopperString, positive to see an increase from $594 million in FY24. 
  • Up to $35 million set aside for the North Rail Yards affordable Housing project in the heart of Townsville city.  
  • $40.5 million allocated to housing, land Acquistion and social housing services. 
  • $1.5 billion towards Townsville Health Services further details to follow.  
Australia’s home of Green Manufacturing  
  • $43 million to support Queensland Resources Common User Facility. A pilot and demonstration scale processing facility for critical minerals and rare earth elements. 
Burdekin Falls Dam raising and improvement project.  
  • $73.9 million to continue planning and investigatory works for the raising and improvement of Burdekin Falls Dam.  
Freight and Road Infrastructure 
  • $4 million in 2024-25 out of a $96.9 million total spend towards the Burdekin River Bridge rehabilitation program.  
  • Inland freight route (Charters Towers to Mungindi) $38 million committed towards to the Inland freight route delivered in partnership with the Australia Government.  
  • $587,000 towards the Magnetic Island Trails upgrade.  
  • $15 million over 2 years for the Growing Future Tourism Program and $10 million over 2 years for the Building Bush Tourism Fund.  
  • Release of $3 million (centrally held) in 2024–25, matched by a co contribution from the Australian Government, to continue to work closely with community and Traditional Owners to improve the quality of First Nations tourism experiences, deliver a range of initiatives and new events and support employment across Queensland. 
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