BUDGET BREAKDOWN: What's in it for the Coast?
HOSPITALS and high schools across the Fraser Coast and Wide Bay regions are the biggest winners in this year's State budget.
Tuesday's budget was described as being "unashamedly focussed on our regions” by Treasurer Jackie Trad, with incentives like a proposal to slash payroll taxes for regional employers and a $49.5 billion infrastructure spend across the state.
But business leaders are divided over whether the Fraser Coast saw the benefits of this regional focus, criticising the lack of investment in Hervey Bay infrastructure projects.
A total of $2.7 billion has been allocated for health services spanning from the Wide Bay to Sunshine Coast regions as part of the State Government's broader $19.2 billion cash splash for health across Queensland.
Of that funding, $5.5 million will go to the Maryborough Hospital to refurbish the emergency department and service other general upgrades and improvements. Budget documents reveal this upgrade will include over 2000sq m of refurbishments, creating "an average of 11 new jobs over two years”.
"This includes increasing the existing emergency department to six treatment spaces, delivering a more contemporary outpatient facility for the specialists outpatient department, providing the hospital its first CT scanner and improving the hospital's main facade,” budget papers read.
Maryborough is one of four hospitals in the broader Wide Bay region to receive a budget boost, with upgrades planned for hospitals and health services in Kingaroy, Bundaberg and Eidsvold.
Schools across Wide Bay will also get a boost as part of a state-wide push, with up to $46.2 million being dedicated for upgrades and maintenance.
Hervey Bay High School will take a $2.5 million slice of that pie to construct a performing arts centre and additional classrooms.
Maryborough State High School has been allocated $6 million for refurbishment and upgrade works to improve its educational facilities.