Harbour project must not be caught in 'horse trading'

THE Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce has long been at the forefront of pushing local issues of significance, such as development of the Urangan Boat Harbour.

In fact, past committees were integral in forming several delegations to all levels of government to look to uplift this iconic local asset to have it fulfil its potential.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Tim Powers.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Tim Powers. Alistair Brightman

This concept plan is the culmination of key stakeholder engagement and provides a uniform vision moving forward.

Before the chamber even raised the topic, this outcome was not even on the table.

As a region we have been let down by various previous governments, who have promised much but have delivered little.

We still now have a window of opportunity to set the Fraser Coast up for many years to come.

While we are very supportive of the initiative shown by the current State Government with regards to the future of the Urangan Boat Harbour, this project must not however, get caught up in the "horse trading" that may eventuate following the Federal Budget, with any flow on effect that the State Government may advise of.

This "tough love" budget will impact all, however if the state ever needed an opportunity to accentuate any asset recycling program, this is it.

You would think then, that the relevant state minister would be only too ready to accept an invitation to speak to the local community about this project, but alas there was a resounding no from his office.

The Fraser Coast has been inundated with fellow cabinet colleagues of recent times, falling over themselves to visit this area, what about the ones that matter?

That said, we appreciate the time taken last week by the Assistant Minister for Planning Reform Rob Molhoek to spend some time with key stakeholders - including the chamber - to discuss progressing the concept plan to an approved master plan incorporated into the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme.

No surprises then to advise that the chamber's next function is on the future of the Urangan Boat Harbour, at which we will have Ian Sturdy, a senior State Government representative from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, outlining the economic possibilities to maximise the future of this next key project for the Fraser Coast.

I look forward to seeing you at our breakfast at the Boat Club on the 28th.

For more information on the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce, visit herveybay chamber.asn.au.

Tim Powers is president of the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce.