February 7, 2017
The Federal Government will invest $20 million into the Wide Bay-Burnett in an effort to create long-term, sustainable jobs for current and future residents.
Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash together with the Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt made the announcement on Monday night.
They also announced the members of the new Wide Bay Burnett Regional Jobs and Investment Package Local Planning Committee which will be responsible for nominating the sectors of local industry the package will invest in.
Bundaberg Regional Council Deputy Mayor Bill Trevor has been appointed chair of the committee.
The other committee members are South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, former Nurunderi TAFE director Eric Law, Ms Leone Aslett, Ms Nancy Bates, Mr Stephen Cooper, Mr Kerren Smith, Mr Don Waugh and Mr Glen Winney.
“These people are leaders in their local communities and have the important responsibility of representing their communities,” Ms Nash said.
“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and investing in sustainable local jobs helps grow that kind of community.”
Mr O’Brien said the Local Planning Committee will develop a Local Investment Plan that will list the forward-looking growth sectors it thinks will create sustainable jobs for the future in Wide Bay-Burnett.
“Once the Local Investment Plan is done, the applications from Wide Bay-Burnett region can roll in,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Dowd said the Federal Government’s aim was to create more jobs and export opportunities.
“We aim to harness the broad range of skills in the Wide Bay-Burnett region to create more jobs,” Mr O’Dowd said.
Mr Pitt said the Coalition is investing in the regions because it understands Australia’s cities cannot exist without them; the regions supply cities with their water, food and electricity.
“We’re proud to give the Wide Bay-Burnett region a $20 million shot in the arm,” Mr Pitt said.
The Wide Bay-Burnett package is one of 10 Regional Jobs and Investment Packages across Australia worth a total of $220 million.
Funding will be available across three streams: Local Infrastructure, Business Innovation, and Skills and Training.
On a population basis, the South Burnett would be entitled to about $2 million of the $20 million pool.