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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Budget Funds A Welcome Boost

Advance Cairns has welcomed funding across infrastructure, business and training detailed in the 2023-24 Queensland Budget tabled this week. 

CEO Jacinta Reddan said the funding announcements will benefit business and industry. There has been confirmation of funding for projects and infrastructure critical for the region’s future economic growth and prosperity, particularly for the diversification of the economy. 

Ms Reddan said while the budget did not contain any surprises, she welcomed the priority given to the expansion of the TAFE Great Barrier Reef International Marine College. 

It is good to see $16 million flow immediately across the next two years to provide much-needed maritime workforce training in the defence and commercial sectors.

“This expansion will include the construction of a new workshop, additional classrooms, staff facilities and a boat shed,” she said. 

“With workforce training such a critical issue, it will be interesting to see if the region stands to benefit from the establishment of a Skilled Workforce Attraction office which was assigned $4.4 million over four years.” 

Advance Cairns CEO Jacinta Reddan at the state budget 2023 34 in Brisbane

Ms Reddan said the State Budget also confirmed its commitment to match Federal Government funding for the Common User Facility at the Cairns Marine Precinct, with a further $30 million announced today, bringing the total project funds to $360 million.

“These investments will create local jobs and strengthen Cairns as a leading maritime maintenance, repair and overhaul destination in the region,” Ms Reddan said. 

“We are keen to see more detail on what the first tranche of the funding in $5.6 million in this budget will be spent on,” Ms Reddan said. 

Ms Reddan said Advance Cairns welcomed the continued investment in infrastructure and facilities for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. This includes previously announced funding for a surgical centre, construction of a new mental health unit, expansion of the emergency department and an additional endoscopy room as well as the $250 million major hospital expansion. 

Ms Reddan said Advance Cairns also welcomed $30.9 million for the highway duplication of the Cairns Western Arterial Road between Redlynch and the Captain Cook Highway. 

She also welcomed the extension of the regional business payroll tax discount by seven years to 2030 at a cost of $505 million. 

“We are also pleased to focus on addressing the housing crisis and will be keen to see what impact this will have on the region.” 

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