A battle plan to create jobs

Councils across Queensland have devised a job-creating COVID-19 battle plan to create thousands of jobs and protect local communities from the Cape to the Coast amid the evolving public health crisis.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has put a $608 million Battleplan before the State Government for consideration, saying it would create more than 14,000 jobs state wide to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and the national public health directions.

LGAQ President, Mayor Mark Jamieson, said councils stood ready to partner with the Palaszczuk Government to roll out a range of stimulus measures that would enable crucial jobs to be created within months.

“Funding this package will enable local governments to kick start hundreds of community-building programs to create jobs and provide essential local economic stimulus in our communities.

“Councils are playing an important role in the local disaster responses, maintaining essential public health services like safe drinking water and rubbish collection. At the same time, they are working hard to sustain their 40,000 strong local government workforce – all critical to supporting local economies and communities.

“The Commonwealth, the level of government best resourced to ensure local government is properly funded to meet demand during this crisis, has knocked back a request to include councils in its JobKeeper program and, in doing so, has made our task that much harder.

“Councils are now seeking to work with the State to fill some of that gap.

“We believe there is a crucial role councils can play in supporting a community-led recovery. Councils can ensure economic stimulus gets to where it is most needed to enable us to get through this crisis and come through the other side, stronger than before.

“By working together, the State and councils can ensure Queenslanders weather this COVID-19 storm and emerge from it in the strongest position possible.

LGAQ has welcomed a letter of support from Opposition Leader, Deb Frecklington, for the Battleplan.