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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Building our Regions program continues successful roll out across state

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, July 25, 2018

    Building our Regions program continues successful roll out across state

    The Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions program is forging ahead successfully, with 87 per cent of projects across the state delivered on time.

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick today said nearly all Building our Regions projects were completed either before or within 30 days of the agreed completion date.

    “All Building our Regions projects provide valuable infrastructure to regional communities that improve liveability and economic conditions,” he said.

    Mr Dick said councils are in charge of delivering Building our Regions projects and meeting timeframes.

    “Council manage their projects, but there may be unforeseen circumstances which cause project delays,” he said.

    “Regional councils have to deal with unique challenges of regional Queensland including distance and natural disasters like cyclones and floods.

    “There can be delays in the construction and completion of projects due to weather, lack of contractor availability and land tenure issues.

    “Of course programs have to be rescheduled when such issues arise, yet in almost all cases our Building our Regions projects are continuing to forge ahead and deliver for communities across our state.

    “Our approach is to work closely with councils to overcome these issues and ensure that the long term benefits for their communities are realised.

    “Our aim is to work with and support councils who may be experiencing difficulties and not to punish them by removing their funding.”

    Mr Dick said his department applies a robust assessment, approval and grant management process to the Building our Regions program.

    “This ensures funding is allocated to projects that represent value for money, and that public funds are distributed only when grant milestones are achieved,” he said.

    “When delays occur, funding is acquitted in accordance with the financial management guidelines and contractual arrangements of the program.”

    The comments come after LNP Shadow Minister for State Development Andrew Powell today claimed Building our Regions project are being delayed, including falsely claiming the Mackay Showgrounds redevelopment was delayed when in fact it was completed ahead of schedule.

    Mr Dick criticised the LNP for attacking the Building our Regions program given the LNP’s own track record funding regional Queensland projects.

    “It is bizarre the LNP is attacking such a successful regional development program, given their Royalties for the Regions was widely regarded as a slush fund of failure,” he said.

    Key findings of the Auditor General regarding the LNP’s botched Royalties for the Regions program include:

    • The LNP Minister funded council projects that did not align well with his own guidelines
    • The LNP Minister also funded strategic projects where no departmental assessment was undertaken and value for money was not considered
    • Many councils unnecessarily invested their time, resources and money to demonstrate the value of their applications against criteria that were apparently irrelevant

    A total 39 regional councils from Torres Shire to Bulloo have been shortlisted for a share in $70 million under the latest round of the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions program today.

    In previous rounds of Building our Regions, the program has allocated $225 million to 174 projects, generating 1762 jobs for Queensland, including jobs in the Mackay region.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Anika Hume 0447 320 039