Construction of a youth recreation and arts centre at upper Coomera will receive a $2.2 million boost, following a successful application by Gold Coast City Council under the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
RDAF is the Australian Government’s new $1 billion, five year infrastructure funding program for Australia’s regions. Nearly $150 million was allocated towards 35 projects nationwide in the first round of funding, including seven in Queensland.
The Council’s Upper Coomera Community and Youth Hub, due for completion in March 2013, will include a youth recreational and enterprise activity space, art workshop and training room, retractable performance stage, computer room and recording studio. The project is expected to inject a total of $23.5 million into the local economy during construction.
RDA Gold Coast Chair Craig Devlin said the Committee was pleased to recommend the project for funding, as it aligned with local priorities and offered concrete economic and social benefits for the Gold Coast community.
“The hub is expected to create 180 jobs during construction and 30 jobs once completed, and will reach out to engage and inspire young people, and provide training opportunities in an area of high unemployment,” he said.
“This is the sort of project that RDA Gold Coast is passionate about - government, business and community all working together on an initiative which will grow the economy AND boost quality of life.”
RDAF is open to local government and not-for-profit organisations, with grants of up to $15 million available for “shovel-ready” projects which meet regional needs and priorities and promote economic and social growth.
Potential Gold Coast projects should align with priority areas identified in the RDA Gold Coast’s Regional Roadmap. The RDA Gold Coast Committee is responsible for endorsing suitable applications, with final funding decisions made by the Australian Government after review by an independent assessment panel.
Projects need to demonstrate a direct and measurable benefit to communities through a business case, cost-benefit analysis, feasibility studies and detailed project plans.
RDAF Round Two is now open, with $200 million available nationally. Mr Devlin encouraged local organisations to submit Expressions of Interest to RDA Gold Coast by 1 December for assessment.