Four candidates get behind FCO's three key projects
FRASER Coast Opportunities says it's gained the support of four candidates for the three projects it believes are essential to growth in the region.
FCO has campaigned for Hinkler and Wide Bay candidates to publicly support three projects it claims will provide the region with 4000 new jobs and $600 million annually ahead of the September 7 election.
Those projects are FIFO, Aviation Industry Employment Precinct, Mary River Marine Industry Employment Precinct and the Fraser Coast Region Sports and Recreation Events Precinct project.
FCO general manager David Spear was keen to trumpet the organisation's first victory in that battle on Sunday, announcing the Australian Labor Party and Palmer United Party candidates were onboard.
"It's great to see real leaders in (Leanne) Donaldson, (Lucy) Stanton, (Rob) Messenger and (Steve) Anderson expressing full support in the strongest possible terms for the region's top three priority economic development projects," Mr Spear said.
But Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss was quick to cast doubt over the true level of the commitment.
"It is hard to believe that this is a genuine commitment," Mr Truss said.
"Funding announcements are normally made by a senior minister who visits the electorate to make the commitment," he said.
"Labor's funding offer has not been advanced by a minister and the amount of money does not appear anywhere in Labor's policy costings."
Mr Truss said he had met the council to discuss its proposals and advise it of the best direction to take to secure funding.
"Only one of the projects is in the Wide Bay electorate and I encouraged the council to take the projects through the Regional Development Australia process, to have them assessed for funding under future rounds," he said.
When contacted on Sunday, LNP candidate for Hinkler Keith Pitt said his position remained unchanged.
Mr Pitt told the Chronicle last week he was happy to back proposals the community supported provided they had passed the relevant assessment processes.
Mr Spear said FCO had briefed all candidates on the three key development projects.
Following those discussions, he believed Katter's Australia Party candidates David Dalgleish (Hinkler) and Gordon Dale (Wide Bay) also supported the projects.