LNP pledges $30m jobs package to Bowen Basin
THE election funding commitments continue today with the Coalition expected to announce a $30 million Jobs Package to be thrown into the Bowen Basin region --- if it is re-elected.
The government believes the funding will be matched by participating businesses making the total package worth about $60 million, and Gladstone will have access to those funds.
The concept is that local communities will assess their economic opportunities and create an investment plan and then businesses would apply for grants.
The government will promote the package on the basis that the spend will be guided by the local region instead of from Canberra but how the process will work is still unknown, as it will be spread over three electorates.
The other areas that will be applying for grants from this pool of money if this package becomes a reality are Mackay, Rockhampton, Clermont, Emerald, Blackwater and Biloela.
The purpose of the package is to provide innovation grants, help businesses invest in new technologies and open export markets for local businesses.
It will also be used to invest in local infrastructure projects and targeted skills and training programs to address regional skills shortages and support workers impacted by recent cutbacks to retain and upskill to help them find jobs.
The government also believes the package will attract businesses from other regions to the Bowen Basin and as a result employ more people.
Federal Liberal National Party member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said this project and the Rookwood Weir announcement were about stimulating the employment sector.
"This package is just what we need to overcome the negative effects of the ending construction boom," he said.
"Gladstone has borne the brunt of the region's economic downturn and I really believe this package will benefit us hugely here in the port city."