Regional Deal priority list to be endorsed by council
THE Hinkler Regional Deal will take another step forward once the council endorses a proposition statement outlining the priority projects for the Fraser Coast region.
It marks the next step in the ambitious regional economic plan as all three levels of government continue their negotiations over which projects should be funded.
Speaking at a forum on the Regional Deal on Monday night, council CEO Ken Diehm said a draft proposition statement on which projects will best benefit the region would go to a council vote next Wednesday.
Should councillors vote in favour of the proposition, the plan will be an integral part of funding negotiations with the State and Federal Government.
Both the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg Regional Councils have listed about $300million worth of projects for funding.
Mr Diehm told the Chronicle the proposition statement was about filtering the projects the council had identified as providing the most benefit to the region.
"A total of $600million is nowhere near what's likely to be on the table,” Mr Diehm said.
"We don't know what's being offered by the State and Federal Government, that will depend upon the strength of the projects and initiatives.
"It's taking time, but the relation between all three levels of government is a very positive and constructive relationship.”
The lucrative economic deal is similar to current City Deals run by the Federal Government in Townsville and Launceston, which have pumped more than $200million into their respective economies.
Bundaberg and Hervey Bay were selected as the pilot sites for the Regional Deal in November last year.
More than 30 projects, including a redevelopment of the Urangan Harbour, expansion to the USC Fraser Coast campus and the ongoing construction of the Sports Precinct have been highlighted as part of the council's priority wish list.
Many of the projects were listed during consultation with residents, community and business representatives across the Fraser Coast.