Industry group disappointed State won't sign Hinkler deal
THE Fraser Coast could miss out on critical infrastructure if the State Government continues to refuse to contribute to the Hinkler Regional Deal.
Those were the concerns of Fraser Coast Property Industry Association president Glen Winney, who said the group's members were disappointed by the State Government's decision.
Last week Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the State Government would not be part of any deal that didn't include Maryborough.
"Thanks to Keith Pitt's persistent lobbying, the Federal Government has gone above and beyond to inject around $90 million into the Fraser Coast," Mr Winney said.
He said the State Government had allocated $6 million for the Pialba-Torbanlea Rd, but that was "a state road anyway".
"We have a real chance to put some critical and connective infrastructure into our region that will turn our economy around and help set us up for the future and the State Government wants to make this a political issue over boundaries," Mr Winney said.
"The fact is if you inject money from the state into Hervey Bay, this also benefits Maryborough. Every dollar State or Federal governments spend anywhere on the Fraser Coast is a dollar the Fraser Coast Regional Council does not have to spend, therefore, enabling the council to keep rates down or invest in other infrastructure projects across the Fraser Coast.
"The State Government's boundary argument is flawed and is detrimental to the all ratepayers and residents of the Fraser Coast."
Mr Winney said the region was a high unemployment, low socio-economic area and good public infrastructure was needed to create employment and help small businesses survive.
"The Fraser Coast cannot afford to be held back any longer while the State Government plays political games, jeopardising the effectiveness of the Hinkler Deal, not maximising the growth and stimulus of our region's economy," he said.
A spokesman for the State Government said a significant $587.8 million infrastructure investment in the Wide Bay Burnett had been made this financial year, supporting around 2200 jobs in the region.
"This includes $6 million towards the Torbanlea Pialba Road upgrade and $1 million towards the Isis Overtaking Lane project," he said.
"In the 2018-19 financial year, Skilling Queenslanders for Work assisted up to 855 people to get job-ready skills through $6.84 million in the Wide Bay region."