HINTERLAND ISSUES: A bypass of Tiaro and future infrastructure were some of the major topics at a Meet the Candidates forum in Tiaro last night.
HINTERLAND ISSUES: A bypass of Tiaro and future infrastructure were some of the major topics at a Meet the Candidates forum in Tiaro last night.

Battle for the hinterland: Bid to win ‘neglected’ voters

FRASER Coast hinterland voters feel "neglected" as the region's urban areas continue to grow, Tiaro's Chamber of Commerce says.

Regional representation and a planned bypass of the rural hub were some of the key topics at a crowded Meet the Candidates forum at Tiaro Memorial Hall last night.

At the event organised by the Tiaro and District Chamber of Commerce, candidates were quizzed on how they would ensure the council supported Tiaro as a "growing regional hub", how they would attract infrastructure and how they would support rural areas across Division 2.

Secretary Linda Harris said work was being done across town but many of the voters felt "somewhat neglected" when it came to the allocation of council resources.

Ms Harris said a planned bypass of the town was becoming a major issue for residents, who feared the development would leave the town behind.

"It's going to be a big issue for our community in the future," Ms Harris said.

"We're hoping the working group being formed … will work towards keeping our area a viable and sustainable community."

The bypass, which will be built east of Tiaro around flood-prone areas such as Black Swamp Creek, is in the consultation phase.

Division 2 encompasses one of the largest areas of the Fraser Coast council region, covering the suburbs of Tinana, Tiaro, Bauple and Glenwood.

Phil Truscott and Chris Dale are facing off for the regional seat after incumbent councillor Anne Maddern announced she would not contest the Local Government Election.

Cr Maddern declined to comment on the election when asked by the Chronicle.

Similar challenges are being faced in Division 1 as incumbent James Hansen faces off against Howard businessman Joel Mullen.

Mr Mullen has staked his campaign on delivering better road maintenance and pest and weed control for the division, and bringing a "strong, honest, forward-thinking" approach to the role.

Cr Hansen has pledged to finish the Howard sewage plant, and continue the rollout of better footpaths and drainage.