General News

20 June, 2023

Projects supported in State Budget

A VARIETY of projects for the Cook and Hill electorates have been funded in last week’s State Government Budget.

Projects supported in State Budget - feature photo

A VARIETY of projects for the Cook and Hill electorates have been funded in last week’s State Government Budget.

Some of the key projects that were successful in getting financial support were the new Atherton Fire and rescue station, which attracted $3 million to purchase land, another $7.1 million to complete the new Atherton Hospital, $8.5 million to create overtaking lanes between Mareeba and Ravenshoe, and $800,000 to upgrade the Mareeba Water Treatment Plant.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said cost of living relief was an important part of the budget including the $550 rebate on electricity bills for all Queensland households, a further $200 for vulnerable households and a $650 rebate on electricity bills for eligible small businesses.

Another major announcement tat will help families is the $1 billion Kindy for All program, which will provide 40,000 children and their families with free or cheaper kindy.

“This is a good budget that delivers for everyone, no matter where they live. Most importantly, it is a budget to help families and households deal with the ongoing challenges of cost-of-living pressures,” Ms Lui said.

“Specific projects within my electorate are not the only way our government is supporting communities up here. Cost-of-living relief – through measures such as energy rebates and free kindy – benefit all Queenslanders, especially those here in the Far North,” Ms Lui said.

“We know that cost-of-living pressures are particularly challenging for many remote communities.

“There is also a substantial $21.4 million investment in education, another key priority of our government. And I’m delighted to see so many sporting and community organisations receiving a boost through this year’s budget – these organisations are so valuable, providing social and emotional wellbeing for individuals, families and communities.”

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he welcomed funding for his electorate, pointing to $1.46 million to widen and seal more of Ootan Road and $1 million to install a security fence around the ground for the safety of students and staff at Atherton State School.

“It is good news that $3 million has been funded towards the acquisition of land for a new site for the Atherton Fire and Rescue Station, which will now move this project forward,” he said.

Mr Knuth also noted the final funding to complete the Atherton Neighbourhood centre had been delivered.

“This was over three years in the making. State funding had to be parked until the Feds came up with the balance, so I am pleased that all the hard work from the centre management has been rewarded,” he said.

Mr Knuth said the Hill electorate also had a number of other wins in the State Budget with schools across the region being allocated more than $9.2 million, health $10 million, roads $99 million and development and infrastructure $3 million.

Mr. Knuth also acknowledged the funding for pre-school swimming lessons through the SwimSmart program, something he had supported and campaigned for.

However, he expressed disappointment to the “lousy increase” to the Patient Subsidy Travel Scheme where rural and regional patients have to travel to access specialist services.

“The KAP were instrumental in securing the last increase, over 11 years ago and have campaigned heavily for another substantial, increase, yet patients only received a pitiful four cents a kilometre extra considering the cost of living has multiplied over this period,” Mr Knuth said.

He added that while the Government’s hand out of $550 to help ease electricity costs sounds fantastic, it had to be tempered by an estimated 25 per cent increase to electricity prices next month.   


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