Works for Queensland funding a good start, says Mayor

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has described State Government Works for Queensland COVID-19 funding as a good start, but said more was needed to support the city in the wake of the current economic downturn.

Cr Williams said while Redlands Coast welcomed any funding from other levels of government, there needed to be better understanding as to how Redlands Coast was allocated only $2.8 million from the additional $200 million Works for Queensland funding announced by the Premier.

“This funding is welcome, as is any State funding, and will help support our community,” Cr Williams said.

“What our community really wants, however, is certainty and so I would like to understand how the State Government allocated the funding so I can help the community understand.”

Cr Williams said the funding was a step in the right direction after years of lobbying for Works for Queensland funding.

“Historically South East Queensland (SEQ) has been precluded from Works For Queensland and for years I have been making the case as to why this funding should be extended to areas like Redland Coast where we have challenges similar to regional councils.

“While I welcome SEQ Councils now being eligible for part of the extra $200 million in funding that is designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t understand why only a quarter of the funding was made available to the south east corner.  The remainder of the money went to areas of the state on top of their existing Works for Queensland funding.

“Redlands Coast is perhaps harder hit by the pandemic than many areas, with North Stradbroke Island shut down to tourism, in addition to its transition away from sand mining.

“In addition Redlands Coast islands topped the list for employment vulnerability, according to an index published by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), an official research centre at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

“This shows the level of support we need to respond to this pandemic and I am keen to work with the State Government to understand how we can secure that support.”

Cr Williams said she would be writing to the Premier to thank her for the funding and seek an explanation as to the criteria used to allocate the funds.

“I want to work with the State to ensure my community is supported and so I would like to understand how these funding allocations were decided,” Cr Williams said.

“I would also like to understand how I can work with the State to ensure this funding is not a one-off, but continues into the future with hopefully a larger allocation for Redlands Coast.”