The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with superviser Wayne Kelly and trainee Mandy Stollberg at the the Fraser Coast TESS farm worksite.
The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with superviser Wayne Kelly and trainee Mandy Stollberg at the the Fraser Coast TESS farm worksite. Alistair Brightman

Premier funds TESS

HOURS after announcing Downer EDI would receive a share in a $400 million manufacturing contract, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has visited the city to announce $256,000 will flow to Maryborough job-training programs.

The Premier also acknowledged the Fair Go campaign driven by Australian Regional Media newspapers, saying only her government was giving regional Queensland a Fair Go.

"Definitely from the State Government, we are very much focused on regional Queensland," she said.

"We know that in regional Queensland people are hurting, we know it's tough.

"There will be a very strong component in our budget next month focusing on getting people back into

work." During her visit, she announced three organisations had received funding in the latest Skilling Queenslanders for Work round.

Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Service (TESS) will receive $130,200 to help 40 people complete a Certificate II in Resources and 15 students to study Agriculture. Maisie Kaufmann Learning Centre has also secured $126,300 to deliver a Certificate III in Individual Support - Disability to 60 people.

Downer will share in $400 million on offer from Queensland Rail to maintain several trains and wagons.

"We have the workforce and the manufacturing skills here and it (Downer) is central to this community," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"My government will put people first - giving people hope and opportunity."

The contract will be split between Maryborough and Townsville after the Premier directed Queensland Rail to negotiate with the cities' respective factories, Downer and UGL.

But Ms Palaszczuk would not say if future long-term contracts would get the same treatment.

"It does depend on the circumstances but in this case the local member raised this issues with the highest levels of this government," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Downer contract was the start of a revitalisation for the heritage city.

"The jobs at Downer in Maryborough are secure," she said.

"There is no way that my government was going to ignore the local member and the issues and the impact that the closure of Downer could have," she said.

"We are going to keep this manufacturing skills base here in Queensland - it's not going to fold."

Increasing tourism in the Maryborough economy through the Fraser Coast Military Trail also got the support of the Premier.

She said work was being done to begin stage two of the Duncan Chapman Memorial.

"I think it's a fantastic idea - we just have to try and work out which is the right avenue for the funding to be secured," she said.

"It's an excellent idea and is has a lot of merit."

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said: "When you knock on the Premier's door she listens to what's happening in your region," he said.

Fraser Coast TESS corporate services manager Stacey Foster said the funding would give course participants "practical experience", increasing their employment chances.



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