TRANSFORMATIONAL: Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour, Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt announcing a Regional Deal for Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.
TRANSFORMATIONAL: Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour, Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt announcing a Regional Deal for Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. Blake Antrobus

How the Regional Deal will transform Hinkler's cities

HERVEY Bay and Bundaberg will be the pilot sites for the same lucrative infrastructure program which has brought multi-million dollar stadiums, big business and thousands of jobs to other regions.

The transformational Regional Deal shared between the two cities was revealed by Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack yesterday.

Similar to City Deals run by the Federal Government, the program brings together all three levels of government to foster stronger economic growth.

Mr Pitt said while he couldn't predict just how much money was on the cards, regional deals around the countries varied from "anything above $100 million”.

"Regional Deals have had varying substances from anything above $100 million and in Townsville it is hundreds of millions,” Mr Pitt said.

"We need to ensure those business cases are strong and supported.

"To address the challenges and make good on the opportunities, I believe we need all levels of government working together to develop a plan that will help the region prosper.”

He said the Department of Infrastructure would commence planning on how the Regional Deal would be rolled out.

The announcement comes after talks of a Regional Deal for the Northern Territory city of Barkly were floated earlier this year.

Under Townsville's City Deal partnership, signed in November 2016, $225 million to secure Townsville's water supply and $75 million for the Port Channel Capacity upgrade has already been committed by the State Government.

A $250 million North Queensland stadium, funded by the Federal and State Governments and the Townsville City Council, is currently under construction.

In Launceston, $95 million was invested to improve the health of the Tamar Estuary and projects are still underway to improve the liveability of the Launceston city centre.

Mr McCormack said he hoped work on projects in the region would start by next year.

"Hinkler has a youth unemployment issue... (but) is a great area for industry, commerce and agriculture,” Mr McCormack said. "That's what these Regional Deals will do, they will see that opportunity and optimism and build on it.”

Calling the announcement "transformational”, Cr Seymour said the council would now put together a plan focussing on generating jobs and bettering the region.