July 26, 2018
The South Burnett Regional Council may resubmit its application for a $2 million contribution towards Kingaroy’s CBD upgrade project to the next round of the Building Better Regions fund.
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said he was aware the Federal Government had committed a further $200 million in this year’s Federal Budget to deliver a third round of the program.
The Mayor said since a large portion of the CBD upgrade work would involve replacing ageing underground infrastructure, he believed this met the program’s guidelines.
But he said it was up to the Council as a whole to sit down and examine all possible options.
If Councillors agreed when applications for the next round opened later this year, the Council would re-apply.
The Mayor emphasised that while roads remained the Council’s top priority, they weren’t the only priority issue that had to be attended to.
“Most of the South Burnett’s critical infrastructure was built about 60 to 70 years ago and it’s all nearing the end of its working life,” he said.
“In the past few years we’ve spent tens of millions of dollars replacing bridges, carrying out major upgrades to our water treatment plants and building a new waste water treatment plant.
“But there’s still a lot that remains to be done.”
The Mayor said he acknowledged the Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce wanted to see a start made on the CBD upgrade.
And Council had already drawn down a $2 million loan facility in anticipation of receiving grant funding.
However, any decision on where to spend the money would need to be decided by all Councillors, not just him.
“We need to look at everything that’s on our plates to determine where funds can be best applied,” the Mayor said.
But if Councillors agreed to proceed on the Kingaroy project, his view was the funds could be best spent improving the CBD’s car parking facilities.
This would include adding RV parking spots to encourage passing caravanners to shop in the town.
[UPDATED with correction]