Council unanimous on Hinkler, but State won’t budge
IT’S A DEAL that promises to be a gamechanger for Hervey Bay.
And this week the Fraser Coast Regional Council unanimously voted to sign the Hinkler Regional Deal Implementation Plan.
But despite the commitment from the council, the State Government has stood firm in its decision not to support the Federal Government-led agreement. “The Queensland Government’s position remains unchanged,” a spokesman for Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said yesterday.
“The Queensland Government is not a signatory to the Hinkler Regional Deal because the Morrison Government refused to negotiate or compromise on key matters.
“We have consistently said that if the Federal Government is willing to come to the table for genuine negotiations, we are more than happy to listen.
“No other City or Regional Deal is based on a federal electorate boundary, and Queenslanders should not accept a sub-optimal outcome merely to satisfy the political needs of the Morrison Government.
“The Queensland Government has provided funds to several projects that have also received funding through the Hinkler Regional Deal. We have also committed to facilitate the flowthrough of Federal Government funding for projects to ensure the community does not miss out.”
The stand-off between the Federal Government and State Government over the agreement has been ongoing for months, with the State Government pushing for Maryborough to be included in the deal.
But Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said consistently argued the regional deal was to be rolled out within the same area as the Cashless Debit Card, which was introduced at the start of last year.
“I congratulate the Fraser Coast Regional Council for its vision and commitment to transformational projects – the CBD redevelopment in Hervey Bay, the airport upgrade and numerous linking roads projects – in the Hinkler Regional Deal,” he said.
Acting Fraser Coast Mayor Darren Everard said he was “looking forward to the progress of these vital projects”.
“The Hinkler Regional Deal will help build on our strengths to grow our economy and provide more long-term job opportunities on the Fraser Coast.”