Would a hemp farm be better than a sport precinct?
A MAYORAL candidate is reaching high with a left-field plan to turn the land earmarked for the controversial $52 million sports precinct into an industrial hemp farm.
Jannean Dean and division nine candidate Jeanette Maynes announced their plan on Friday stating a hemp farm means an economic and jobs boost for the region.
"It will create a lot of jobs if we have the regional infrastructure in place," Ms Dean said.
Ms Dean said hemp was easy to grow and two crops could be harvested from the plant each year.
She said the products produced by hemp also had an environmental aspect.
"There are so many benefits for using products like these," she said.
Ms Dean said she believed creating a hemp industry on the Fraser Coast would give the region long time economic viability.
But she could not say how much money a hemp farm would bring to the region.
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In Queensland a licence is needed in order to grow industrial hemp to commercially produce industrial cannabis fibre or seed.
Hemp can be used to make a wide variety of products such as building products, jewellery, paper, textiles and beauty products.
The plant Ms Dean is talking about is the non-drug cousin of cannabis sativa.
She emphasised that a hemp plant could not be used to create drugs.
Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell said he felt the people of the Fraser Coast "deserved better and deserved more".
"I have been very encouraged and feel confident in saying there is a large amount of community support for the sports plus precinct," he said.
"A concept that is anything other than providing a facility on the Fraser Coast doesn't cut the mustard with us."
Cr O'Connell did not give his opinion on whether a hemp industry would be welcomed on the Fraser Coast.
The sports precinct plan has divided the community and councillors with some welcoming the plan and others clearly against it.
In December the Fraser Coast Regional Council was unable to secure $6 million in funding for the project from the federal government's National Stronger Regions fund.