Millions set to help recovery after recession declared

MORE than $9 million is headed to the Fraser Coast as part of the Queensland Government's $200 million COVID Works for Queensland program.

It comes as Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the country was officially in recession for the first time in 29 years.

"The June quarter, the economic impact will be severe. Far more severe than what we have seen today," Mr Frydenberg said.

The Australian economy went backwards in the three months to the end of March - the first quarter of contraction in nine years.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning showed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank by 0.3 per cent in the March quarter as the coronavirus crisis began to take hold.

On average, economists had been expecting a result of -0.4 per cent.

The $9.4m heading to the Fraser Coast will help create jobs and assets such as libraries, bikeways and footpaths, caravan parks, sport and recreation facilities, and critical water, sewer and waste management infrastructure.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the funding would have an enormous impact on the region.

"While we are resilient, it has certainly been a difficult time for everyone and this program will provide a huge lift for employment opportunities, local economies, and most importantly community spirit," Mr Saunders said.

"The allocation of $9.04 million to Fraser Coast Regional Council will see projects delivered that will have long-term economic benefits and increase liveability in our community."

In announcing the funding allocation, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said it was designed to help councils get their communities back on their feet.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor George Seymour welcomed the news.

"The Works for Queensland program has proven enormously beneficial on the Fraser Coast, helping to create jobs and deliver local projects (the) council wouldn't have been able to do on our own.

"Our council stands ready to work in partnership with the Queensland Government to help our local community emerge even stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic."