Labor says Hinkler Regional Deal 'will be honoured'
FEDERAL Labor has pledged to not alter or change projects already approved for the Fraser Coast under the Hinkler Regional Deal.
This is despite fears the party could back out of some of the projects already committed for the region should it form government.
Labor announced it would carry out a thorough review of the current deal earlier this week but the future of reserved funding under the deal had already been brought into question after the State Government revoked its support in March.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the deal was "about protecting Keith Pitt at the Federal Election" and said there were concerns about other electorates and councils missing out on the funding.
About $172.9 million worth of projects for Bundaberg and Hervey Bay have been flagged as priority projects by the regions' councils.
On the Fraser Coast, $40 million for Hervey Bay's new CBD and $9 million for the redevelopment of the city's airport have already been committed under the deal.
Hinkler's Labor candidate Richard Pascoe said the boundary for the scheme had been selected "arbitrarily" as areas north of Bundaberg, including the electorate of Flynn, would miss out on the scheme.
"I want to get a better deal than what's currently there," Mr Pascoe said.
"Anything will be done with consultation with local and state and it won't be an arbitrary decision of one person."
But a Labor spokeswoman confirmed the party would "honour the elements of any signed and budgeted for city or regional deal".
"Labor is committed to genuinely working with the local government and state government to bring about the best result for people living in Bundaberg and its surrounding region," the spokeswoman said.
"This stands in contrast to the LNP Government, which has rushed this deal and put no thought into it for their own political gain."
Mr Pitt said questioned whether Labor was telling the truth, citing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's support for the scheme earlier this year.
"What sort of candidate would not fight for a $173 million boost to the local economy which provides important infrastructure road projects and job-creating projects?" Mr Pitt said.
The lucrative deal was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Mr Pitt in November last year.