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Brisbane could see an uptick in infrastructure projects starting in the coming months after the federal government wrote to Brisbane City Council requesting details on any “shovel-ready” projects.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner on Tuesday said he had spoken to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday, discussing the economic situation in the wake of coronavirus and its impact on south-east Queensland.
A letter from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to mayors and councillors requested details of infrastructure projects that could be brought forward to start construction within three to six months.
“Fast-tracking the delivery of critical road projects across Australia is key to driving jobs, strengthening the economy and getting people home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack wrote.
He said he had offered his “full support” for Brisbane to be part of the federal government’s planned stimulus package, details of which are expected in the coming days.
“We stand ready with projects that are shovel-ready, that can be fast-tracked, with federal support for a stimulus package, and we will be working closely with the federal government to make sure that funding can flow as quickly as possible,” Cr Schrinner said.
The council had “plans in place” to ensure basic council services could be delivered without disruption during the ongoing coronavirus challenges, he said.
“We are submitting to the federal government a list of projects that can be fast-tracked and we certainly believe that we can play a big and important role in any stimulus package that the Prime Minister and other levels of government may wish to introduce.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked the prime minister for agreeing to chip in after weeks of lobbying, but said the federal government had been slow to respond.
“I have been asking this since the end of January, that the prime minister should have convened a COAG meeting of all states and territories on the specific topic of coronavirus to ensure that our national response and our state responses are ready.
“I am still concerned that we have not had a dedicated national meeting where we can discuss this in depth.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said said an advertising campaign specific to Brisbane was in the works.
“There has always been funding earmarked for Brisbane,” she said.
Source: Brisbane Times