National

Qld to boost economy with local projects

By AAP Newswire

Queensland schools and a dozen communities will get a $270 million facelift in efforts to stimulate the state's coronavirus-ravaged economy.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced $220 million in funding for upgrades and repairs at state schools.

"This investment will support more than 720 jobs as schools engage with local businesses to get this vital work done as soon as possible," she said.

A further $50 million will go to community projects in 12 councils across the state's southeast.

The work will support 1500 jobs and comes on top of $50 million already allocated to local government.

"This package is an integral part of Queensland's plan to stimulate the economy at a time when the major economies across the globe are hurting," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The package will fund 63 infrastructure projects including revitalising the Mooloolaba foreshore and a new path and boardwalk near Frenchmans Beach on North Stradbroke Island.

It's all part of a broader $6 billion plan to help rescue Queensland's economy and start repairing its budget, which has been left in tatters by the pandemic.

Total government debt is expected to pass the $100 billion mark in June, with a budget deficit of $5.9 billion in 2019/20 rising to $8.5 billion by the end of the current financial year.

The premier told parliament on Tuesday it had been 10 days since the state had recorded a locally acquired coronavirus case, with no new infections overnight.

Two teens have tested negative for coronavirus after being arrested for allegedly lying about visiting COVID-19 hotspot Sydney.

The girls, aged 15 and 16, arrived on a train from NSW to Brisbane on Friday before the border closed. The pair then travelled to the Sunshine Coast.

Officers tracked them down at a Noosa shopping centre and took the duo into custody on Monday.

A number of shops the pair visited have been closed for intensive cleaning.

The teens, from Queensland and NSW, are in hotel quarantine but could be released shortly.