A regional war chest of cash and disaster funds will be announced today, as the federal government tries to get votes in the country.
Queensland has become a political battleground, with leaders of the four parties heading for a pre-budget week campaign.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison blitzed through Rockhampton and Cairns during a stop in Townsville on Wednesday morning, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese hit Mackay.
Greens leader Adam Band was in Brisbane to announce the new candidate, and Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Secretary Michael McCormack will be in Rockhampton today to announce $250 million in regional grant.
The money will go into the sixth phase of the Building Better Regions Fund to move towards projects such as sports halls, pool upgrades and road repairs for the region.
Mr. McCormack said that “This will be a significant impetus to regional Australia and accelerate regional recovery and provide long-term community renewal, more work and new skills.”
Mr. Morrison will announce another $600 million, which will go to the previously announced National Recovery and Resilience Agency, which will begin operations in July.
The agency was one of the recommendations of the Bushfire Royal Commission, and the government announced it in November.
The $600 million will go towards “resilience projects” such as bushfires and cyclone-proofing houses, levee construction and telecommunications reliability development.
It will work with existing state government agencies in the post-disaster recovery phase.
Meanwhile, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the budget needed to be more ambitious about getting full employment, a recent statement from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it was clear there was no time for austerity.
“We will evaluate the budget in this way – it is not enough just to predict more jobs, whether it will actually provide more secure jobs,” he added.
“Of course now is not the time to fix the switch to austerity. The Treasurer has just reached this conclusion.