How the council would fund Hervey Bay's new CBD
AMBITIOUS plans to build an "economy kick-starting" business district for Hervey Bay will only become a reality if it is funded by State or Federal Governments, according to Fraser Coast councillors.
Last Wednesday, the 11 councillors voted unanimously to progress parts of the Hervey Bay CBD Urban Renewal Master Plan in a confidential meeting.
The Cultural and Education precinct, Green Heart precinct and Civic and Entertainment precinct make up the Master Plan along with projects involving student accommodation for the USC campus as well as traffic and transport planning.
The plans also include possibly relocating the council's Hervey Bay administration building from Tavistock St in Torquay to Pialba.
A time frame for the major development is yet to be set, however mayor George Seymour revealed the council would approach State and Federal Governments about cooperative funding.
He told the Chronicle the project would not be paid for solely by ratepayers.
"We're working with a number of interested parties, including the University of the Sunshine Coast and private landholders," Cr Seymour said.
"We would specifically want to talk to the Federal Government about a City Deal, which is similar to what's happened in Townsville."
City Deals is a partnership between the three levels of government and the community to "work towards a shared vision for productive and liveable cities", according to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's outline.
In August, Hinkler Federal MP Keith Pitt launched a petition for the electorate, which includes Bundaberg, to be one of the first regional areas recognised as a site for a Regional City Deal.
Mr Pitt's petition had garnered 714 signatures at the time of publishing.
Councillor Denis Chapman echoed the same message, and said programs like the Building Better Regions Fund would need to be utilised.
"We need to tap into that money for the area, because if we don't do projects like this, we could miss out on the funding," Cr Chapman said.
"We've got to be thinking ahead all the time."
Cr Chapman said the development would have similar effects to the CBD revitalisation works currently ongoing in the Sunshine Coast.
Although the Hervey Bay CBD plan is on a smaller scale than Maroochydore, Cr Chapman said it would be "an economic kickstarter" for Hervey Bay.
You can sign Keith Pitt's signature at https://tinyurl.com/ ycom7v38.