TSBE CEO Ali Davenport.
TSBE CEO Ali Davenport.

$200m funding boost to region will unlock hundreds of jobs

A $200 MILLION funding boost has been welcomed by community leaders in the Western Downs in the wake of a new report which revealed billions of dollars worth of investments were being injected into local projects.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise CEO Ali Davenport has welcomed the State Government's announcement of a $200 million Building Acceleration Fund.

Applications for the fund will soon open for projects that can deliver substantial economic flow-on effects and be ready to begin construction within 12 months of receiving funding approval.

Ms Davenport said the new infrastructure fund will hopefully kickstart job-creating projects and unlock private-sector investment.

"TSBE has been advocating to all levels of Government to fast-track shovel-ready infrastructure projects to assist our region's economic recovery post COVID-19," she said.

"We're hoping this announcement will support the projects in the infrastructure pipeline that are ready to commence which will create jobs for our region."

TSBE recently released both the Toowoomba and Western Downs Development Status Reports, which list all the developments within both regions. The reports are used to attract investment and provide a list of upcoming work for local construction firms.

"In our 2020 edition of the Development Status Reports, there is a combined total of $20 billion in development projects in Toowoomba and the Western Downs region," Ms Davenport said.

"There are projects that are approved and awaiting commencement and this funding could provide the confidence for these projects to commence."

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Building Acceleration Fund would create jobs in the short term and unlock private investment in the long term, and Ms Davenport believes the State Government should look to the Darling Downs as a region that has an abundance of shovel ready projects and highly capable local construction companies.

"These large projects will not only provide jobs for those involved in the construction industry but also right through the supply chain and the entire economy," she said.

"We welcome the Building Acceleration Fund to help provide jobs and deliver economic growth."