Fraser Coast councillors discuss the future of the Hinkler Regional Deal at a special meeting.
Fraser Coast councillors discuss the future of the Hinkler Regional Deal at a special meeting.

Dream team chosen to drive Hinkler Regional Deal

A DREAM team to lead the Fraser Coast through the rollout of the Hinkler Regional Deal has been chosen.

Three councillors were voted onto the Fraser Coast Local Representatives Forum at a special council meeting on Monday.

Jade Wellings, Denis Chapman and David Lee were elected by secret ballot.

Other committee members will work with the trio as part of the forum and provide the community with a voice on different aspects of the project.

Proposed members of the forum include representatives of chambers of commerce and other peak bodies, education institutions, tourism bodies, and community and industry groups.

Before the vote, each councillor who nominated for the forum was given the opportunity make a pitch to the other councillors.

Cr Chapman said he had served on numerous management committees and was experienced when it came to work on projects involving roads and other developments.

“I can provide good guidance and also listen to other sides of the story,” he said.

Cr Wellings said she was excited about the deal and believed it held huge potential for the area, especially in terms of jobs and growth.

“I have a genuine interest in what the community thinks and want to ensure we have good governance,” she said.

Cr Lee said he wanted to advocate for the community.

Geographically, he said many of the projects fell near or within his council area of Division 9.

He also cited the need for good governance and thorough public consultation.

Deputy mayor Darren Everard and councillor David Lewis also nominated but were not chosen.

The council also endorsed Savills as the program manager for the Hervey Bay City Centre and the extension of the Boundary Rd to Urraween Rd projects.

Savills was described as a world-class company with experience in overseeing the delivery of several shopping centre and entertainment precincts in regional Queensland as well as significant commercial building developments in Brisbane.

Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said delivery of the projects was a key priority and the experienced program manager would ensure construction could commence as soon as possible.

“A program manager on board is an important step to getting key projects under way across Hervey Bay,” Mr Pitt said.

Mayor George Seymour said the deal would help build on the region’s strengths to grow the economy and provide more long-term job opportunities on the Fraser Coast.

Cr Seymour said there would be significant opportunities for local contractors and suppliers to benefit from the “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to revitalise Hervey Bay.

He said the works would make the Pialba CBD the city’s primary destination for business, culture, education and recreation.