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No infrastructure investment for the North in Federal budget, says Townsville Mayor

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The Townsville Mayor has criticised the Federal budget saying there was a lack of investment for the city and North Queensland more broadly.

Mayor Jenny Hill says she would have liked to see more spent on capital infrastructure.

“If you want to create employment, you’ve got to invest in infrastructure...and even if the government didn’t want to fund it through the City Deal, they could have found other avenues,” Councillor Hill says.

“This is a budget about winning votes.”

Townsville’s City Deal is a 15 year agreement between all tiers of government to deliver projects including the North Queensland Stadium, stage two of the Haughton Pipeline project, the Port of Townsville Channel upgrade and Bus Hub.

But instead of supporting those projects, Councillor Hill says the Federal Government has focused on roads.

“I think we’ve seen $44 million on the road from Tennant Creek to Townsville, well that road is about 1,400 kilometres long. $44 million, doesn’t go far,” she says.

“They’re talking about a spend on the Bruce Highway, well that will just add a few overtaking lanes.”

While the budget was good for residents, the Council wants to see Townsville grow.

“The mums and dads in the community will see money in their pockets...but it really is about how do we attract new employment and grow the North and I don’t see that there,” Mayor Hill says.

She says the region needs infrastructure to support industries and sustain jobs.

“The big thing for us at the moment, we’ve got the industry here, I don’t want us to lose it because we’ve lagged behind in ensuring the infrastructure for them is in place.”

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