Thursday, April 25, 2024

Toowoomba pandemic response investment ramps up

A major park amenities upgrade, refurbishments on the Empire Theatre and completion of the Highfields library are just a few of the major projects underway this year as part of Toowoomba Council’s Pandemic Response Investment.

After allocating an additional $50 million, over and above the annual capital works program as a Pandemic Response Investment, Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair Councillor, Geoff McDonald said work was ramping up on the program.

“Projects were brought forward with the requirement that the works were delivered by local business if possible and completed over a two-year term if necessary,” he said.

“Given the amount of planning which was required for these projects, it’s understandable that we would have a relatively slow start in terms of money spent over the first six months but I’m pleased to see that we’re starting to pick up a bit of momentum now.

“Prior to Christmas around $4.8 million had been spent as part of this package and while the Christmas period is generally a slower time for activities, the amount spent has almost doubled since then.

“As at January we had spent around $8.7 million with around $9.8 million in commitments. This equates to 37 per cent of the overall package.”

He said the majority of the spend so far had been on Council’s pavement rehabilitation program and the regional asphalt overlay program.

“With the Nell E Robinson Park Amenities Upgrade nearing completion, work beginning on the Empire Theatre refurbishments and the completion of the Highfields library later this year, we’re on track to hit the 60 per cent target we set for the overall program this financial year,” Mr McDonald said.

“It’s also pleasing to see the planning and design underway on the Cressbrook Dam Spillway Upgrade as the dam spillway upgrades will have a significant impact on our budgets over the coming years.

“The other piece of great news is that local spend remains high, with 90 per cent of all spend so far has been with local suppliers which is the number one goal of the Pandemic Response Investment.”

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