Fraser Proud - Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook and Fraser Coast Chronicle g/mgr. Brett Hanwright.
Fraser Proud - Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook and Fraser Coast Chronicle g/mgr. Brett Hanwright. Alistair Brightman

BUDGET BOOM: What federal funding will mean for workplaces

THE region's business leaders have weighed in on the funding which flows from last night's Federal Budget and the Hinkler Regional Deal.

In Hervey Bay, $40million of the regional deal spend has been earmarked for the city's CBD master-plan, while $9million was allocated for the redevelopment of the Hervey Bay Airport and a further $7.7million was announced to fund the Urraween Rd and Boundary Rd extension.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the $40million revitalisation of the CBD gave the business community a sense of purpose.

"Because all the other precincts are so close, it actually adds to each one and they become a bigger and better picture," she said.

"You move from the business district to the cultural and education part and to the retail section really quickly.

"If you start putting money into one, it will move through to all the others."

Ms Holebrook said it would be fair if the remaining money from the regional deal was split evenly between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

"Given they are two very separate locations that both need funding, a relatively even split is very important," Ms Holebrook said.

While there were few surprises in last night's budget, it still delivered some of the most significant federal funding in more than a decade.

For the Wide Bay $800million will be used for the Bruce Hwy upgrade while Rheinmentall NOIA munitions plant will receive $28.5million, creating 178 local jobs.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the budget would create a stronger future for Wide Bay by funding local investments.

"Our plan balances the books to ensure we can pay for what we promise, creates more local jobs by backing our businesses, lowers taxes so more families keep more of what they earn and guarantees critical local services," Mr O'Brien said.

Maryborough Chamber of Commerce President Richard Kingston welcomed the announcements but hoped Bruce Hwy duplication between Curra and Childers would be next in line.

He also believed the Heritage City needed more in the way of State and Local Government support.

"I would like to see more money spent on the highway," Mr Kingston said.

"With the munitions factory, we'll be looking at a lot more road freight coming up and down into this area, so we need to look at our transport routes."