Premier Anna Bligh made the announcement in the wake of BHP Billiton’s plans to lay off 1100 workers from its Bowen Basin mines.
Bligh had originally pledged $100 million in late August for the three-year Sustainable Resource Communities Agreement which targets new or upgraded roads, schools and health facilities.
Today she brought $26.8 million of that funding forward five months.
“More than $9.21 million will be spent by 1 July 2009 and at least 108 of 187 jobs linked to the agreement’s $100 million will be in place this calendar year,” Bligh said.
“Many of these projects will source their materials locally and at times bring additional staff to the region.”
The projects include:
Passing lane works on the Peak Downs Highway – an extra $5 million;
An Emerald driver training and motorsport complex – $2 million;
Expansion of childcare capacity in Blackwater, Clermont, Middlemount, Moura, Theodore and Moranbah – $3.6 million;
An upgrade of Ardurad Road between Blackwater and the BMA Central Administration Centre turn-off – $4.5 million;
The Moranbah Affordable Accommodation Project – a $3.5 million contribution; and
Moranbah health staff accommodation – $1.6 million.
“Our goal is to keep people within their region,” Bligh said.
She said the initial projects would be rolled out in the Bowen Basin.