The Building our Regions program is about helping councils meet real infrastructure needs to deliver the best possible outcomes for local communities. The program’s focus is on funding projects that are critical to the functioning of the local community, in particular where delivery of the project—or failure to deliver the project—will significantly impact on the community’s prosperity and wellbeing.
The funding complements investment by councils and other organisations and, in some cases, the projects would not have proceeded without it.
Successful projects under Round 1 were announced in December 2015.
StatusRound 1 committed $70.8 million towards 42 projects—all have commenced with the exception of two projects that have undergone changes of scope from that originally applied for.
Building our Regions Round 2 is continuing to build a pipeline of critical infrastructure projects that will create jobs and opportunities and deliver real benefits in regional communities. Round 2 received a $9.5 million boost in the State Budget, increasing the amount of funding available to $79.5 million and allowing more eligible projects to be funded.
Successful projects under Round 2 were announced in November 2016.
Round 2 committed $79.2 million towards 51 projects—contracts are being developed and projects will start to kick-off construction in early 2017.
The supplementary round of Building our Regions is specifically targeted at remote and Indigenous communities. These are smaller councils with lower rate bases where small projects can make a big difference to the community. For this round the minimum funding limit has been lowered to $50,000 with an upper limit of $500,000, meaning councils can apply for projects previously deemed too small for funding.
During this round the department is working with councils to build their capacity in preparing funding applications—helping them identify suitable projects and demonstrate how these meet community need and support economic development in the local area.
These capacity building activities are being delivered in conjunction with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to ensure that remote and Indigenous councils understand the application process and have the best possible chance of gaining funding for their projects.
Of the 31 eligible councils, 28 councils have submitted 65 expressions of interest. Moderation is currently underway with shortlisted projects to be announced in January 2017.