DEAL BREAKER: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt. Mr Pitt has called on the State Government to fund the deal in today's budget, three months after they refused to sign a key agreement.
DEAL BREAKER: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt. Mr Pitt has called on the State Government to fund the deal in today's budget, three months after they refused to sign a key agreement. Blake Antrobus

'Open the purse strings': Pitt's pitch to State Government

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has urged the State Government to "open the purse strings” and commit to the Hinkler Regional Deal in today's State Budget.

It comes three months after the State Government refused to sign a key agreement on the transformative economic plan.

The move caused friction between the different levels of government as Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said they would not sign a deal "that excludes Maryborough and leaves other councils in the region behind”.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said in March the deal was "a dud from the beginning” and said Maryborough residents shouldn't foot the bill for Hervey Bay projects.

Mr Pitt has been vocal in his criticism of the State Government's handling of the Regional Deal but yesterday said there was an opportunity for them to "put the regions first”.

"The Federal Government's funding for the Hinkler Regional Deal is locked in and I'd like to see a similar commitment from the State Government,” Mr Pitt said.

"I'd like to see the Member for Maryborough support and lobby his Labor government to contribute to the flood-proofing of Torbanlea Pialba Rd, which will benefit his own constituents.”

Under the Hinkler Regional Deal, $24 million will be allocated for flood-proofing Torbanlea Pialba Rd, while another $7.7 million will be spent on extending Urraween Rd through to Boundary Rd.

Other projects include $32 million for a bypass of Bundaberg's Quay St, $8 million for an upgrade of Bargara Rd and Princess St and $4 million for overtaking lanes on the Isis Hwy between Bundaberg and Childers.

Mr Pitt said the sooner the State Government committed to these five projects, the better.