TOURISM FOCUS: Keppel Creek at Curtis Island, where the State Government will build a new day use area and visitor access.
TOURISM FOCUS: Keppel Creek at Curtis Island, where the State Government will build a new day use area and visitor access. Darryl Branthwaite

$100m+ towards Gladstone campgrounds, schools, projects

SCHOOLS, Curtis Island and North West Island were some of the surprise winners when the State Government declared what it would open its purse for this year.

Treasurer Jackie Trad made her assistant treasurer Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher a happy man yesterday, confirming more than $113 million of funding for Gladstone projects in the 2018-19 financial year.

Mr Butcher described it as a "good budget" which showed the government continued with its spend on infrastructure including with Gladstone Hospital's emergency department upgrade and the new Calliope High School.

"The beauty of this budget is it's showing these projects are actually happening," he said.

"A lot of people told me, 'I'll believe it when I see it' in relation to the emergency department."

The $42 million upgrade of the emergency department is expected to start in December and take 12 to 18 months.

There will be some happy campers in Gladstone soon too, with a $450,000 upgrade promised at the North West Island camp ground and $340,000 to build a new day use and visitor access area at Curtis Island.

"The Great Barrier Reef is starting to attract attention around the world, and we sit right at the heart of it," Mr Butcher said.

"North West Island is a beautiful island so we're making sure we prepare that place and camp ground so it has the necessities for the future."

Mr Butcher said the highlights were spending on health and education in a budget he hoped would ease concerns that Gladstone received little in return for being the "cash cow" of the state.

The Toolooa State High School will receive $1.1 million for four new buildings, which Mr Butcher anticipates will honour the growing trend in Science Technology Engineering and Maths programs in secondary schools.

He said $832,000 would be spent on maintenance and $330,000 on minor works at the region's 16 state schools.

"The biggest two things I've committed to in Gladstone in my time as a state member is for health and education upgrades and both of those have received serious funding," he said.

There was also $7.5 million allocated of the $20.4 million project to widen 14km of Gladstone Benaraby Rd.

Ms Trad shipped $35.6 million to Gladstone Ports Corporation to continue to upgrade and maintain RG Tanna Coal Terminal, and $2.6 million was allocated to the Gladstone State Development Area.



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