Evening everyone from Parliament! It has been a big week so far, as between Bills, Budget, deadlines for Questions on Notice to Committee, and trawling through Service Delivery Statements in preparation for Estimates next week? Normally we have a break between Budget and Estimates to give time to scrutinize, however not this year which continues its ‘challenging’ theme.

From first appearances, this budget has no surprises, and continues from the Unite and Recover Strategy and COVID 19 Fiscal and Economic review delivered in September this year.

The focus on ‘Queensland made’ and job creation through shovel ready projects across the State remains prominent. Increased or new funding in several arenas includes wellness professionals in our schools, the palliative care strategy and suicide prevention initiatives. Extra frontliners for Queensland’s emergency sectors includes firefighters and police, and given the ongoing management of COVID 19, essential. Free TAFE and free apprenticeships now include those up to 25 years of age which will assist both our youngsters and business who are seeking apprentices in multiple industries within Noosa.

Government will now have a 25% target in procurement from our small to medium business, embedding non price related considerations of social and environmental outcomes. Assistance in many forms includes the extremely popular Small Business Adaption Grants and retention of other initiatives such as payroll tax refund and payment waivers.

Noosa specifics are listed below, and again no surprises as most commitments have already been announced including Stage 1 of Beckmans, Six Mile Bridge #7, the Cooloola Great Walk and Noosa Parade. Stages 2 and 3 of Beckmans was not expected to be in the mix given the progress of designs, however trust that TMR and Council will escalate efforts to have those ready for the next Budget in June, unbelievably only 7 months away.

Additionally, other projects in our ‘list’ including upgrades to sports facilities and the Regen Hub have a way to go before funding consideration, though the smaller projects should have designs and costings ready for grants in the first part of 2021.

The urgent priority as outlined to the TMR Minister last week, is to accommodate a resolution to the impacts to our hinterland communities of the inappropriate volume of heavy haulage that is impacting residents, businesses and infrastructure. With designs and costings not expected until the New Year, and community consultation required, funding consideration of this cannot be undertaken until then.

Overall, at a glance as stated at the beginning, no surprises. With the next Budget literally only half a year away, we need to get cracking to get our projects to the ‘shovel ready’ stage so they can be in the ‘mix’. Here are some of what has/is being spent in our electorate in the 2020/2021 Budget period.

Transport and Main Roads
● $1.12 million of $4.46 million to construct active transport facilities at Noosa Parade, Munna Point Bridge to Garth Prowd Bridge.
● $998,000 of $9.81 million to construct a roundabout at Beckmans Road and Cooroy – Noosa Road.
● $103,000 of $838,000 for the Beckmans Road business case.
● $199,000 of $965,000 to improve channelisation at the Cooroy – Noosa Road and Sivyers Road intersection.
● $500,000 of $18 million to replace the Six Mile Bridge #7
● $45,000 of $180,000 to design and construct a shared path at Hilton Terrace, Ivory Palms Resort to Gympie Terrace.
● $15,000 of $120,000 for an active transport options analysis study, Noosa Heads to Peregian.
● $8,000 of $60,000 for an active transport options analysis study, Noosa Heads to Tewantin.
● $10,000 of $195,000 to install a pedestrian refuge at St Teresa’s Catholic College, Sea Eagle Drive.

● $0.50 million of $0.50 million – Refurbish administration building at Noosa District State High School (Pomona Campus).
● $0.05 million of $0.05 million – Adventure Playground Upgrade at Pomona State School.
● $0.25 million of $0.25 million – Rectification to Outdoor Learning area adjacent Oval at Sunshine Beach State School.
● $0.41 million allocated across 8 schools for maintenance
● $0.15 million allocated across 8 schools for minor works

Tourism, Innovation and Sport
● Grant funding $10,000 as part of $100,000 over 2 years to Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment Pty Ltd towards an innovative idea: Helitak Black Hawk Fire Tank
● Grant funding $25,000 as part of $75,000 over 3 years provided to Noosa Shire Council towards the Ecosystem Organisation
● Grant funding $50,000 as part of $75,000 over 4 years to The Powerhouse Hub Ltd towards the Enhanced business development support for regional female-headed startups
● $1.5 million to enhance the existing Cooloola Great Walk with eco-accommodation and guided walks, delivered collaboratively by Kabi Kabi people and preferred proponent CABN.
● $279,00 to upgrade 4 courts for continued expansion of Noosa District Netball
Local Government
● 23 local Government projects funded through the COVID Works for Queensland and the 2020-21 Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package.
For highlights for the Sunshine Coast, and the full Budget papers, head to https://budgetmap.treasury.qld.gov.au/#/rap