UNPRECEDENTED INVESTMENT: Cash spend to boost our region
THE Fraser Coast's future looks bright on the back of unprecedented public and private investment.
Addressing a Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce business breakfast event yesterday, Regional Development Australia's director of regional development for the Wide Bay Burnett, Scott Rowe, said the cash injections meant opportunities for the local community.
Mr Rowe said despite the State Government's continued refusal to fund their part of the Hinkler Regional Deal, more than 80 per cent of listed projects will be completed.
The deal, which is directly linked to the Cashless Welfare Card trial, was designed to involve all three levels of government to fund development projects.
As part of the deal, the Federal Government committed $40 million to upgrade the Hervey Bay central business district which Mr Rowe said was "probably the biggest game changer for this city in the last 15-20 years".
Construction is set to begin next year on Hervey Bay's $7 million federally funded palliative care project.
Mr Rowe said two-thirds of the $7.7 million upgrade of Boundary Rd in Hervey Bay would come from funds that had already been committed by the council and the Federal Government to provide an alternative east-west route other than Boat Harbour Dr.
"This is extremely important for the future of Hervey Bay in particular and connecting up those growing regions like Kawungan," he said.
The Federal Government also committed $24 million to the floodproofing of Torbanlea-Pialba Rd and $9.2 million for the redevelopment of Hervey Bay Airport.
Mr Rowe said Hervey Bay, which was the second highest patient pick up point in the state, would also benefit from the Regional Deal's $15 million project for a new Royal Flying Doctor Areomedical Training Centre in Bundaberg.
"Aviation is a massive growth opportunity here,'' Mr Rowe said.
"We have heard about Astro Aero and they are already establishing their aircraft manufacturing facility which is going to build small freight planes out of Hervey Bay and eventually that could lead to up to 200 manufacturing jobs," he said.
Mr Rowe also highlighted the completion of Maryborough's Hyne Timber Glue Lamination Plant expansion, Downer EDI's $335.7 million train repair contract and the potential for further supply chain contracts for Round 2 of Land 400.
Earlier this year, the $44 million State Government-funded upgrade of Hervey Bay Hospital's emergency department was officially opened.
Last week, the State Government announced a $107 million planned upgrade of the Bruce Hwy to hasten Coast travel times and bypass Tiaro.
Earlier this week the State Government also committed $98 million to upgrade Maryborough's electricity grid to make sure the $60 million Rheinmetall NIOA munitions factory could operate in the Heritage City.