Gladstone gets cash for coal but not hospital in budget

MORE than $50 million will be poured into the RG Tanna Coal Terminal, as Gladstone Hospital misses out again on funding from the State Government.

The Central Queensland resources industry will benefit from a $50.9 million funding boost to upgrade the RG Tanna Coal Terminal in Gladstone by 2018, in funding announced in Tuesday's state budget.

More tug boats will have access to the Gladstone harbour when $28.2 million is poured into a new habour facility at the central Queensland shipping hub.

Tug boats are used to tow and guide coal ships out of the harbour regularly.

The total cost of the facility will be $38.8 million.

There will also be $2.5 million for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership between government and industry.

More than $8.4 million, including $5.8 million in the Targinnie area, will be spent to buy land for development of large scale infrastructure projects in 2013-14.

The government has included $80 million over five years for initiatives to help protect the Great Barrier Reef through the Paddock to Reef program.

Gladstone is among the areas that will benefit from social housing projects sharing $442.9 million.

"These projects will increase the availability of social and affordable housing and re-configure existing social housing, to more closely match the needs of families on the housing register now and into the future," Housing Minister Tim Mander said.

Also in the budget was $5.3 million for the construction of 15 additional classrooms at Gladstone State High School, and $18.8 million to upgrade the Yeppen Lagoon Bridge and roundabout on the Bruce Highway

Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said she was disappointed no funding was allocated for the Kin Kora Roundabout.

And while Rockhampton Base Hospital will receive a further $34.4 million towards a $160 million expansion, Gladstone Hospital will only get a share from the maintenance budget allocated to the Central Queensland Health District.

Queensland Nurses Union organiser David Abraham was angry Gladstone had missed out again.

"The current health services in Gladstone are not adequate to meet demands of the growing community," Mr Abraham said.

"There needs to be more investment made and services need to be expanded to meet those needs."

Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers said she saw the funds being invested into GPC as a sign that privatisation was not on the agenda.



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