COVID-19 packages a boost for Moreton Bay Region economy

Published 2:32pm 4 March 2021

COVID-19 packages a boost for Moreton Bay Region economy
Words by Jodie Powell

More than 1000 jobs will have been created across the region by the end of the year thanks to a focus on building community infrastructure by Moreton Bay Regional Council made possible by COVID-19 funding from the State and Federal governments.

Mayor Peter Flannery says while some businesses are still doing it tough, Council has accelerated $40 million in public works as a practical way of investing the local economy by keeping locals employed.

“We’re tackling the problems of tomorrow by building the infrastructure we will need today,” Mayor Flannery says.

“More than 1000 jobs will have been created across Moreton Bay Region by the end of 2021, which is working in tandem with the local procurement policy we introduced to help local businesses get more work.

COVID-19 packages a boost for Moreton Bay Region economy

Rising to the challenge

“When we delivered the 2020-21 Budget, I said it was Council’s responsibility to step up to the challenges of COVID-19 and help drive our economic recovery, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Mayor Flannery says Council has been able to deliver more projects than predicted because of a $19 million injection through three lots of State Government funding, including the Works For Queensland program (W4Q), and the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP).

“Council has matched roughly $1.10 for every dollar we’ve received in state and federal funding so we can build more facilities and infrastructure to help locals get back on track post the pandemic.”

He says work valued at an extra $30 million will come online from December thanks to $15 million in Phase 2 LRCIP funding.

Developers injecting cash

“To add to that Council has received almost double the amount of infrastructure charges from developers we expected over the past six months, which is a great sign that works have continued to flow across the region,” Mayor Flannery says.

“The Federal Government’s Job Keeper Program has helped offset any other losses ratepayers may have experienced, meaning we’ve had less uptake in Council’s rates rebate.

COVID-19 packages a boost for Moreton Bay Region economy

Passing on the savings

Mayor Flannery says savings made as a result of fewer rate rebates than expected have been reinvested in businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, with food licencing fees waived for restaurants and cafes.

“Council updates these figures in its quarterly budget reviews to reflect the extra works and changes to our original predictions.”

Adding to the focus on maintaining a robust local economy, Council recently launched its new Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) to steer the economy over the next 20 years.

“Our vision is to double the local economy to $40 billion, create 100,000 new jobs and become one of Australia’s top 10 regional innovation hubs by 2041,” Mayor Flannery says.

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