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Cash clash as Maryborough looks at rubbish deal

BUDGET BLOW: Planned infrastructure spending by the Fraser Coast Regional Council will see Hervey Bay rake in $50 million worth of benefits while the rest of the region gets much less. Pictured: Cr Trevor McDonald, Mayor Gerard O’Connell and CEO Lisa Desmond.
BUDGET BLOW: Planned infrastructure spending by the Fraser Coast Regional Council will see Hervey Bay rake in $50 million worth of benefits while the rest of the region gets much less. Pictured: Cr Trevor McDonald, Mayor Gerard O’Connell and CEO Lisa Desmond. FILE

MARYBOROUGH and surrounding areas will receive about $10 million of the Fraser Coast Regional Council's $68 million infrastructure projects plan over the next three years, while Hervey Bay will get about $50 million.

The figures were released by the council in a document about major projects to be completed across the region between now and 2018.

The list for Hervey Bay includes large projects such as the Point Vernon Esplanade upgrade, worth $2.8 million, an upgrade to Drury Lane at $2.5 million, and Torquay's revetment wall, at $3.5 million.

The controversial Fraser Coast Sport Precinct, which is the most expensive project, will receive $10 million in funding over two years.

But in Maryborough the most lavish project is an extension to the landfill station, costing ratepayers $2.1 million.

Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone was disappointed the landfill project was the biggest investment in Maryborough. The council will allocate about $1.2 million in a $6 million State Government flood-mitigation project.

"It's a bit disappointing to see the only major project is an extension to our landfill," he said. "Surely there's some other areas that need to be improved.

"Increasing landfill doesn't really create many long-term jobs.

"It's just existing people throwing their rubbish somewhere else."

Mr Stone suggested the council make better use and promote the "under-utilised industrial estate" near Sexie Coffee on the Bruce Hwy.

Despite the infrastructure agenda leaning towards the rapidly-growing Bay, there are some projects on the radar in the heritage city.

By 2018 the drainage system in Maryborough will be improved with $1.4 million allocated towards work.

Other projects in the town's surrounds includes a $500,000 Walkers Point Rd project, Eatonvale Rd in Tinana will get a $560,000 makeover and $1.9 million will be spent on Walker St.

In Gundiah, a bridge upgrade will receive $1.1million and Yerra Rd at Mungar will be splashed with $1.7 million

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell agreed the record spend focused on Hervey Bay, but said the council had spent big dollars on the heritage city since 2012.

"I think back only a couple of years ago, six and a half million (dollars) was the swimming pool in Maryborough," he said.

Cr O'Connell was reluctant to enter the sometimes hostile debate between the Bay and the 'borough.

"I hate this - one place versus the other," he said.

"These projects are priority driven and we take a regional approach.

"The reasons are around community need, economic need, structural and engineering need."

Cr O'Connell cited the Federal Government's $325,000 commitment to enclose the Brolga Theatre's terrace as evidence things were happening in Maryborough.

"Building infrastructure and providing and facilitating development is a core business of council," he said.

BAY'S PROJECTS

$3 million: Main St from Christensen St to south of Ghost Hill

$1.5 million: Roundabout for the intersection of Maggs Hills Rd, Chapel St and Main St

$4 million: Urraween Rd extension from Nissen St to Main St

Topics:  fraser coast regional council, waste management




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