OPINION: The State Election announcement caught a number of people by surprise, but provides a great opportunity for certainty for this State for the next three years.
Particularly, it allows for this region to push for projects and funding that we have let slide or not pursued.
The Fraser Coast region is a lower-socio economic area that needs government assistance and largesse to kick start its way out of the economic malaise it is in.
This region includes three of the Government's four 'pillars' in agriculture, construction, and tourism, with the fourth (resources) close by, so we should be a good 'fit' for election promises.
But predominately we need more jobs and better services.
We need a state government with an economic strategy that can be achieved.
What we don't need is recycled and previously rejected candidates.
And we certainly don't need 'economic vandals' like in the federal arena that continue to deny this country the opportunity to address its debt position to free up funds to develop our society.
Hervey Bay in particular needs increased employment opportunities - and increased youth employment in particular - with this region having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country (16.8% in the Wide Bay as quoted in 13/1 edition of the FCC).
We have already seen pledges from political parties for increased road funding, job creation strategies, being tough on crime, etc and no doubt the 'incentives to vote for us' will continue.
For example, whilst the council's 'project's wish list' appears not to include anything new, it is pleasing to see the commitment from the incumbent government to fix local road hot spots; a commitment to an issue fully endorsed by this Chamber, as should provide job creation for local contractors.
The Fraser Coast economy is in transition; Fraser Coast Opportunities statistics indicate this region will continue to lift demand for infrastructure and services to meet growth in health, education, and professional services.
This election has the opportunity to provide a game changing outcome.
Let's not waste this opportunity.
The Hervey Bay business community will have the opportunity to hear what our six candidates have to say at our special election breakfast on Wednesday.
Tim Powers is the president of the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce Inc