Labor candidate for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari.
Labor candidate for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari.

Wrong end of deal: Tantari says he misunderstood question

HERVEY Bay's MP elect has clarified his position on the Hinkler Regional Deal.

It comes after the ALP's Adrian Tantari was asked on the weekend by the Chronicle if he would support the State Government signing up to the deal.

He replied he would.

This attracted cautious optimism from Hinkler MP Keith Pitt who said on Monday he welcomed the news but was concerned the "ghost" of Jackie Trad and union influence would cloud the chance of the deal being signed.

Later on Monday however, Mr Tantari claimed he had misheard the original question and his support was in reference to the Wide Bay Regional Recovery Plan not the Hinkler Regional Deal.

He said he would "100 per cent" support Federal funding for projects in Hervey Bay but agreed with the State Government's stance on the deal, which is that funding should not be allocated along "artificial boundaries", such as electorates.

A State Government spokesman said Labor's focus would be on Queensland's recovery from the pandemic.

"The Hervey Bay community now has a strong and active voice in Adrian Tantari," the spokesman said

"As Adrian said, he is 100 per cent behind any projects that are good for Hervey Bay.

"So is the Palaszczuk Government."

The statement also highlighted almost $50million in works for the Isis Hwy and funding support for both the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast councils.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said while it was disappointing the State Government had so far refused to sign on to the Hinkler Regional Deal, "the Federal Government and both local councils just got on with the job of delivering".

"The Hervey Bay Airport upgrade is complete, construction on the palliative care hospice is due to start shortly, the Ag Tech Facility is open in Bundaberg, the overtaking lanes on the Isis Highway will start early next year and the Boundary Road extension will also begin in 2021."

Mr Pitt also questioned how the Hinkler deal and WBRRP could have been confused.

See the site later today for more.