INFRASTRUCTURE: Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders with Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders with Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey. Brendan Bufi

Jobs boost welcome in State Budget

A FUNDING injection for the Fraser Coast's roads and tourism have business leaders happy with the Palaszczuk government's second budget.

One of the bigger items in the Maryborough electorate is $10 million to build a police and fire station at Howard through the Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects program.

Turning lanes on the Bruce Hwy at Torbanlea will also receive a $3.8 million upgrade.

Maryborough's state schools will get $2.8 million in funding while child safety programs have been allocated $3.65 million.

Speaking ahead of the release of the budget yesterday, Mr Saunders said Maryborough fared well in a tough fiscal climate.

"It's a very responsible budget - the people of Maryborough will welcome this budget, it's the best we've had in 18 years," Mr Saunders said

He said the $639 million provided for Wide Bay's infrastructure was more than he was expecting.

"The Treasurer did warn us the revenues were down so I had to trim some stuff," he said.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Tim Powers hopes Fraser Coast employees will take advantage of the government's $100 million plan to employ 8000 people in Regional Queensland. Employers will receive $10,000 for hiring an unemployed person for one year or $15,000 for hiring a long-term unemployed person for at least a year.

About 1400 jobs could be created in the Wide Bay using Labour Force estimates.

"It's another incentive for local businesses to assist with their staffing needs with a little help from government," Mr Powers said.

Mr Powers described the budget as a "non-event for Hervey Bay".

But he was in support of the government's $22 million plan to help small business enter the digital age - something the region was embracing. A $33 million 'Connecting with Asia' tourism strategy will help Fraser Coast Opportunities fund direct and intensive marketing to build on partnerships with key Asian cities. The bid to add more land to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island will get a boost with $209,000 allocated to include Cooloola at the south.

Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone said the money for training and up-skilling was well spent. "We won't change the unemployment numbers without improving the skills of our jobseekers," he said.

About $600,000 goes to the Queensland Regional Natural Resource Management Investment Program.