Kleinton Waste Management Facility sod turning

Marking Toowoomba’s territory as a centre of excellence for mountain biking, decreasing traffic congestion between Highfields and the Toowoomba CBD and upgrading a vital agricultural link are among the projects contained within the regional council’s local COVID-19 recovery battleplan.

Councils across Queensland have been compiling their local battleplans in a bid to secure critical economic stimulus from the State Government to help their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The projects were submitted to the Palaszczuk Government on Friday 15 May.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Region had multiple job-creating projects ready to go but required government funding to help make them happen.

“The Bowenville-Moola Road is a key freight route for our Region with seven cattle feedlots and four piggery operations. New investment in this key freight route would not only create jobs but would strengthen the economic growth of key industries in the Toowoomba and Western Downs Regions,” Mayor Antonio said.

Mayor Antonio said Council was also working with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council on creating walking trails and mountain bike trails in a bid to clinch the Olympics mountain biking events should Queensland win the 2032 Olympics bid.

“Tourism is a key industry for our Region and we are so fortunate to have access to the Toowoomba Escarpment which is a major drawcard for visitors to this area,” he said.

“We need to make sure we utilise this natural beauty to its full potential. To do this in the right way, we need to have a centre of excellence for mountain biking established well before the Olympics bid takes place to make sure the Toowoomba Region is well and truly at the front of the queue when it comes to considering who is best-placed to host this event.”

“The economic opportunities in the Toowoomba Region are significant, however, to support this growth the ongoing investment in key infrastructure areas is a must.”

Other important projects include:

  • Perseverance Raw Water Main Renewal
  • Perseverance Pumping Station
  • Kleinton Waste Management Facility
  • Upgrade of Neil Street Culvert
  • Highfields/Gowrie Area Connection Project.

Local Government Association of Queensland President Mayor Mark Jamieson said Councils stood at the ready to help Queensland meet the challenges of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 with the LGAQ’s battleplan to create more than 14,000 jobs.

Key initiatives to be funded under the battleplan include:

  • Jobs Recovery Package: A $200 million statewide job creation program modelled on the successful Works for Queensland initiative to support more than 8,000 jobs, with $100 million earmarked for the state’s southeast
  • Green Army: A 3,000-strong workforce focused on protecting and improving the environment across the state for the benefit of critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism
  • Local Government Apprenticeship and Traineeship Guarantee: Providing 800 new or displaced workers with a guaranteed pathway to gain critical experience and skills.

“The battleplan’s programs will provide a critical boost to the construction, tourism, small business and agricultural sectors,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“They will provide apprenticeships and traineeships for those looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to retrain. They will create work for local businesses, contractors and labourers.

“They will ensure Queensland communities not only weather the COVID-19 storm but emerge from it stronger than before.”

Mayor Jamieson welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s public commitment to working with the Association and its member councils to identify shovel-ready projects across the state to aid the economic recovery.

He also reiterated his thanks to Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington for her support for the LGAQ’s $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities.