Council confirm talks with Gov about Burrum River bridge
DOUG Waters has pursued the Burrum River Bridge for about a decade, but it might finally become a reality.
Mr Waters, who has steered the bridge committee for at least seven years, said he was willing to work with whoever is awarded the funds to see the long-awaited project come to life.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt promised $200,000 for a feasibility study into an extra bridge over the Burrum River during his election campaign last year.
The bridge, which would connect Burrum Heads to Buxton, was one of One Nation's Damian Huxham's big-ticket items when he ran for Hinkler at last year's Federal election.
Mr Waters said Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft, who has previously voiced his support for the project, should push for the application to be completed in the next week.
Fraser Coast's planning and development councillor Denis Chapman confirmed council had advised the Federal Government of its interest in driving the study.
"We (are) still in discussions with the Department of Infrastructure over what is needed in the application to gain the funding," Cr Chapman said.
"While there are positives and negatives in all infrastructure projects, until the study is undertaken it's all a bit up in the air.
"Hopefully we'll have answers soon and will continue to work closely with the Federal Member Keith Pitt on the proposal."
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, whose electorate includes Burrum Heads, has long maintained his opposition to the proposal.
Mr Pitt said he understood discussion were underway between council and the Department of Infrastructure, but questioned Mr Huxham about where his promised bridge was.
"I understand that the Fraser Coast Regional Council is finalising discussions with the Department of Infrastructure and the council will be the lead agency on the feasibility study," Mr Pitt said.
"However, my question is to Damian Huxham: where is the bridge you and Pauline Hansen promised during the 2016 Federal Election campaign? When will your bridge be completed?
"On April 19, 2016 Mr Huxham said: 'Seeing this bridge come to fruition is my passion for the people of Hinkler'.
"So where's the bridge Mr Huxham?"
Mr Huxham, who will run against Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen at the next state election, said he wanted to take politics out of the process and focus purely on the project.
"We need to put politics aside and do what's better for the region," he said.
"We need to move on it before the funding is off the table."