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The Maranoa region celebrated the opening of the Roma Airport runway upgrade and a vital flood mitigation project today thanks to $17.8 million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert, who represented Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick to officially open the runway upgrade, said the day marks an important milestone for Maranoa.

“These are significant projects for the region and their completion will result in a wide range of economic benefits and local job opportunities,” she said.

“Roma Airport is considered the transport gateway to the region and is essential in sustaining the workforce of the coal seam gas industry and supporting emergency services.

“The Palaszczuk Government invested $2 million under Building our Regions Round 2 to upgrade the airport runway to handle more than double the current 16 flights a week, to more than 40 flights.

“The project has seen delivery runway improvements with new asphalt, all line marking, and runway shoulder works as well as repairing the taxi lane and apron pavements. This project is estimated to have supported 16 full-time equivalent construction jobs.”

Ms Gilbert also officially opened one of the region’s most significant and important infrastructure projects in recent history, Stage 2 of the Roma Flood Mitigation Project.

“This project is vital to the safety of the people of Roma and is necessary to minimise the repeated impact of flooding,” she said.

“Stage 2 will minimise the impact of future flooding in the area and reduce the impact on state and volunteer emergency services and reconstruction costs in the long term.

“The Palaszczuk Government provided funding of $12.42 million for Stage 1 under a number of programs, and $3.09 million for Stage 2 under Building our Regions Round 1.”

Maranoa Regional Council Mayor Tyson Golder said their advice is that an additional 51 properties will be protected from above-floor flood risk, bringing the number of protected properties to more than 500.

“The council also received a total funding commitment of $7 million from the Australian Government for both Stage 1 and Stage 2,” he said.

“These projects are major undertakings for Maranoa Regional Council, and it’s fantastic having support from all tiers of government.”

Ms Gilbert said the Palaszczuk Government has also funded sewer main upgrade $308,564 under BoR Round 3 to prevent service disruptions for residents and businesses.

“The good news continues – Maranoa Regional Council is also benefiting from BoR Round 4, receiving $932,800 ($275,000 BoR, $275,000 council, $382,800 industry) for the Surat Digital Connectivity Project to deliver high-speed internet to Surat through the construction of telecommunications towers.

“Round 4 of Building our Regions will see the Palaszczuk Government partner with 37 councils on 49 projects – work which will create an estimated 657 jobs.”

Under previous rounds, the program has allocated $225 million to 174 critical infrastructure projects across the state, generating 1762 jobs and attracting additional investment of $353.5 million from councils and other organisations.