INVESTING IN THE HINKLER REGIONAL DEAL
THE Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is investing $172.9 million to the Hinkler Regional Deal to support initiatives that will boost economic growth and create more job opportunities in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the financial backing will go a long way to boosting the long-term economic future of the region, which encompasses the major centres of Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.
“The Government’s funding contribution includes support for a number of important infrastructure and transport projects,” Mr McCormack said.
“These types of projects are vital in helping to drive the local economy and ensure that the region is well-placed to take advantage of emerging opportunities, such as in agriculture and tourism.”
Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said she is pleased the government is strongly supporting the Hinkler Regional Deal Statement, which she signed on 26 March 2019 with Councillor Jack Dempsey, Mayor of Bundaberg Regional Council and Councillor George Seymour, Mayor of Fraser Coast Regional Council.
“The Government’s commitment is a strong indicator of its support for the region to build a cohesive community and grow the local economy,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We intend to continue working with both councils and the Queensland Government throughout 2019 to finalise specific initiatives that could form part of the Regional Deal, in addition to the projects that have already received funding approval.
“This is the start of putting together a Deal that will ultimately include financial contributions from all levels of government and the private sector.
“This will capitalise on the extensive consultation with local stakeholders that we have been undertaking for the last four months and focus on developing a Deal that will improve quality of life for residents on a number of fronts, stimulating economic growth and building cohesive communities.”
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the Government’s funding announcement builds on many months of hard work by the Government and the two Councils.
“The region has a lot of untapped potential and the Regional Deal will help unlock the output of a number of key industries and create jobs for the future,” Mr Pitt said.
“A number of projects have been identified as game changers for this region and I welcome today’s announcement that the Federal Government has committed $40 million to the Hervey Bay town centre redevelopment and $7.7 million for the Urraween Road/Boundary Road extension,” Mr Pitt said.
“In the northern part of the electorate, $10 million has been committed to the construction of a multi-use conveyer at the Port of Bundaberg – which will allow for private investment and expansion at the port - and $32 million to the Quay Street bypass.
“Ensuring that this region has a stronger local economy and the framework to attract new business, which in turn brings more local jobs, has always been my driving force behind the Hinkler Regional Deal,” Mr Pitt said.
Bundaberg Regional Mayor Jack Dempsey said he is committed to working collaboratively with the Australian and Queensland governments and Fraser Coast Regional Council to explore opportunities in key regional industries such as agribusiness, tourism, healthcare and education.
“We are proud to be involved with the Hinkler Regional Deal and are committed to collaborating with all levels of government to putting in place the foundations for a prosperous and resilient region,” Cr Dempsey said.
Fraser Coast Regional Mayor George Seymour welcomed the Australian Government’s funding contribution to the redevelopment of the Hervey Bay airport and for improvements to major roads in the Hervey Bay region.
“The Fraser Coast is a dynamic and vibrant region with both challenges and opportunities, and it is hoped a Regional Deal will help us to reach our full potential, attract new investment and drive improved employment outcomes,” Cr Seymour said.