The Federal Government today announced $32 million towards diverting traffic from Quay Street in Bundaberg as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal.
Bundaberg Regional Council welcomed the commitment and said it would now seek a similar amount from the State Government.
The Federal Government this morning pledged $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 Bridget McKenzie said the Government would work with Bundaberg Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council and the State Government to finalise specific initiatives that could form part of the Regional Deal.
“This is the start of putting together a deal that will ultimately include financial contributions from all levels of government and the private sector,” she said.
“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.
“$10 million has been committed to the construction of a multi-use conveyor 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.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was committed to working with the Australian and Queensland Governments and Fraser Coast Regional Council to explore opportunities in key regional industries such as agribusiness, tourism, health care and education.
Council has identified reducing traffic in Quay Street as necessary to revitalise the CBD and open up the riverfront precinct.
“This is the catalyst for unlocking the potential of the riverfront to invigorate the CBD,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Diverting heavy traffic will make it safer and improve access between the Burnett River and Bourbong Street.”
Mayor Dempsey said discussions would now occur with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
He also welcomed funding for a multi-use conveyor at the Port of Bundaberg.
“This opens up opportunities for diversification and private investment at the port, which is a good thing,” he said.
A number of projects have been put forward for potential funding under the Hinkler Regional Deal. These include:
- Revitalising Bundaberg CBD and Burnett Riverside
- New regional aquatic centre
- Quay Street diversion and demaining
- Bundaberg civic and cultural arts precinct
- New relocated level 5 hospital
- High-speed regional fibre network
- Challenger Learning Centre
- Initiatives to promote agriculture, defence, tourism and skills development.
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