Mackay region beats SEQ in state government infrastructure spend

The Mackay region beats south-east Queensland in receiving its fair share of state government infrastructure spending, according to new figures.

Data from Queensland Budget papers and the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office shows the state government spends 56% more per capita on infrastructure and capital works in the Mackay region (Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday) than it does in South East Queensland.

The figures show that for every person in the Mackay region, the state government spent $3,603 on local infrastructure and capital works in the last financial year available (2021/22), compared to $2,307 per person in South East Queensland (see the graph on page 2).

In fact, infrastructure spending in the Mackay Region has been higher than in SEQ for at least the last five financial years.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said it proved the Mackay region is well and truly receiving its fair share of funding.

“It’s a myth that Mackay gets less than its fair share in funding,” Ms Gilbert said. 

“The LNP like to talk a tough game about us receiving less than our southern counterparts saying we are missing out but it’s simply not the case.”

“The data is clear – we are receiving more funding for projects in our region per person than those in SEQ – and we have done so for a long time.”

In 2021, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner made headlines complaining that the Queensland Government was spending too much in regional Queensland, arguing Brisbane was being shortchanged.

Ms Gilbert pointed to an extensive range of projects that have been delivered for Mackay in recent years. 

“We’ve had massive projects like the Mackay Ring Road, Walkerston Bypass and Peak Downs Highway upgrades be delivered, as well as new hospitals in Sarina and Moranbah and an extension to the Mackay Base Hospital going ahead, the works to the Great Barrier Reef arena and much more.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to secure for Mackay. And I’m happy to say that will continue under this government.”  

Ms Gilbert said the Mackay figure was likely to rise even further in the future with investments in projects like the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.

“We punch above our weight in Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday, and that will continue.”

She said it was important to remember these figures only reflected capital expenditure and didn’t include other expenses like the wages of teachers and nurses.

“The total amount of money spent by the Queensland Government locally would be even higher,” Ms Gilbert said.