REVEALED: How state budget will impact Lockyer, Somerset
A BIG spending budget was handed down by the Queensland state government yesterday, in an attempt to revive the economy out of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some significant announcements were made for projects throughout the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions across health, education, justice and town planning.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the post-pandemic recovery was expected to take at least four years.
He said the hit to the state's revenues this year would be far worse than the impact of the Global Financial Crisis.
Of particular concern to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that could also have ramifications for producers in the Lockyer Valley is the growing tensions between Australia and China.
Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald has welcomed the investments to the local economy but would have liked to have seen more funding for particular projects - including more school funding and money for upgrades to the Warrego Highway.
The Gatton Star has compiled a summary of the key announcements from yesterday's budget that will effect Lockyer Valley and Somerset residents:
- Lockyer District State High School - $550,000 in 2020-21 to upgrade stormwater mitigation on the oval.
- Hatton Vale State School - $1.4 million in 2020-21 for additional classrooms and to replace the school's septic system.
- Haigslea State School - $750,000 in 2020-21 to replace the existing amenities block.
- Withcott State School - $300,000 in 2020-21 to replace the school's septic system.
- Glamorgan Vale State School - $750,000 in 2020-21 to replace the existing amenities block
- Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct - $654 million to expand Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct with a new 1,000-bed correctional centre focusing on health and rehabilitation to reduce reoffending.
- Fairways Park - $1.6 million in 2020-21 out of a $1.7 million total spend to install multi-element playgrounds that cater for all ages and abilities including the addition of a dog off-leash park and car park.
- Laidley CBD LED Street Lighting-Installation - $49,590 in 2020-21 out of a $150,000 total spend to upgrade non-standard lighting to assist in the review of CCTV recordings and improve the safety of the community.
- Solar Halls Powering Growing Communities - Esk Civic Centre
- $6,828 in 2020-21 out of a $20,652 total spend to install a 30kW rooftop solar system to provide renewable energy to the Civic Centre.
Mr McDonald said more funding should have been allocated to the Warrego Highway, if not all of the $15 million state share in the Warrego Highway safety upgrades, after $60 million of funding was secured from the federal government for the $75 million project.
"I will continue to fight for other recreation facilities throughout the Lockyer electorate," Mr McDonald also told the Gatton Star.
Total state debt is expected to reach $130 billion in the next four years and Treasurer Cameron Dick said the budget would only return to balance "when the economy returns to normal".
At a state level, unemployment is forecast to reach seven and a half per cent in 2020-21, before reducing to seven per cent in 2021-22.
Other important announcements included:
- $34.3m to go towards women's shelters, mobile and centre based support services.
- $45.8m to address and respond to domestic and family violence, including counselling services and crisis responses.
- $449.7m in 2020-21 for energy, rates and water concessions and rebates for seniors and eligible Queenslanders.
No new or increased taxes were announced which was in line with Labor's election commitment.
What are your thoughts on this year's state budget? Leave your response in the comments below.