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The QLD Government has released its 2021-22 Budget, with significant investment in regional council water security and hydrogen energy resources assisting QLD in achieving its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030. 

Regional councils will be able to bid for $70 million in funding over three years, to improve water and sewerage systems through the sixth round of the QLD Government’s highly successful Building our Regions program.

Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, Glenn Butcher, said the funding would complement the QLD Government’s long-standing commitment to regional water security.

“This will build on a history of successful water supply improvements Building our Regions has already funded across our state since 2015, from Weipa to Warwick and from Toowoomba to the Tablelands,” Mr Butcher said.

“The $70 million we’ve committed will be available over the next three years, for councils to target water and sewerage system improvements.

“Since 2015, the Queensland Government has committed almost $1.9 billion to bulk water infrastructure like Rookwood Weir, Haughton Pipeline and the Mareeba-Dimbulah improvement project.

“But water security happens at a small scale too, in the water treatment plants, reservoirs and water and sewerage systems of our towns and cities.

“Building our Regions (Round 6) will deliver critical job-creating projects in regional communities that will improve water supply and security, improve liveability and economic conditions.

“With this funding we’re showing our commitment to supporting water security at every level of the water supply system.”

The Building our Regions program, which started in 2015, has provided improved local infrastructure across Queensland while supporting thousands of well-paid regional jobs.

The QLD budget is also focusing on the oil, gas and hydrogen industries, with Acting APPEA QLD Director, Matt Paull, discussing the importance of the oil and gas industry, which is highlighted in the budget. 

“Our industry is worth $11.1 billion to the Queensland economy each year, and directly and indirectly employs more than 47,000 Queenslanders,” Mr Paull said.

“The Budget papers showed petroleum royalties will be more than $2.7 billion over the forward estimates.

“The sector has also invested more than $70 billion into Queensland’s economy due to the rapid development of the natural gas and LNG industries.”

Mr Paull said the QLD Government’s commitment to hydrogen means a bright future for the gas industry in the state for decades to come.

“Natural gas plays a vital role in reducing Australia’s and Asia’s emissions. Australian liquefied natural gas is helping to reduce emissions in importing countries by about 170 million tonnes each year and the commitment to the development of hydrogen solutions will make a further substantial contribution,” Mr Paull said. 

“Natural gas is a pathway to a large-scale hydrogen industry.

“Australia’s LNG export success means the Australian upstream oil and gas industry has the technology, expertise, commercial and trade relationships to make, in particular, hydrogen exports a reality.

“Developing a local hydrogen industry could enable lower emissions both in Queensland and internationally, reduce energy costs, deliver energy security, together with new employment and manufacturing opportunities.”

QLD 2021-22 Budget highlights for water and hydrogen industries: 

  • The first five rounds of the Building our Regions program has had $348 million approved towards 271 projects across 67 councils
  • The Building our Regions program has leveraged over $539 million in additional funding from other sources for a total capital expenditure of over $887 million, supporting more than 2,700 construction jobs 
  • $2 million has been allocated as part of the overall contribution of $20 million for the completion of the Hydrogen Training Centre of Excellence at QLD Apprenticeship Centre at Beenleigh
  • A new $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund will be established to expand on the previous $500 million Renewable Energy Fund 
  • The Fund will enable investments by Queensland’s government-owned energy businesses in commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects, as well as supporting infrastructure and reaching QLD’s goal of 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 

For more information on the QLD state budget 2021-22, go to: https://www.rdmw.qld.gov.au/ 

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