Plenty in the kitty for Coast

REGIONAL Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett will recommend regional projects to be funded from a $573 million Federal Government kitty after finalising strategic priorities for the area.

RDA Wide Bay Burnett executive officer Paul Massingham said the Federal Government had set aside the money to fund projects, identified by RDA committees in regional areas, that would expand the development and growth of regional economies.

Mr Massingham met with about 50 locals at a talkfest in Urangan yesterday to confirm that the priorities identified for the region's strategic direction were correct.

The five priorities identified were strengthening the region's profile, driving economic prosperity and job creation, fostering natural resource management and sustainability, advancing education and training and supporting community and social well-being.

“The next step for us in being able to advise government on the best way to utilise investment funds for the region is to ensure that the projects that we want initiated actually align with the priorities of the region,” Mr Massingham said.

He said local governments and community organisations had already identified a range of projects and the RDA would bring them together to ensure their direction aligned with the overall priorities of the region.

Mr Massingham said in the next couple of months, RDA would be seeking information on projects and opportunities, then collating the information and publishing it on the website by the end of the year.

He said the public could then comment on the projects and propose their own ideas and opportunities.

“The community engagements are an important part of ensuring that when RDA represents the region that we are reflecting what the community had stated the priorities are,” Mr Massingham.

He said a summit would be held in Bundaberg on November 30.

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