South Burnett Regional Council launched its new advocacy plan this week … from left, Cr Kirstie Schumacher, Cr Scott Henschen, Mayor Brett Otto, Cr Kathy Duff, Cr Danita Potter and Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones (Photo: SBRC)

April 15, 2022

South Burnett Regional Council has launched an “advocacy plan” to help it push its case with Federal and State MPs.

The “Advocacy Action Plan 2022, Our Priorities For A Stronger South Burnett” was officially launched on Wednesday by Mayor Brett Otto.

It promotes the infrastructure and funding needs of the region.

“The South Burnett has a great future, but it depends on putting our case successfully to other levels of government,” Mayor Otto said.

“Funding decisions on water, roads, industry, digital access and social services are highly competitive.

“The South Burnett now has a document we can put in the hands of State and Federal MPs and Ministers and those seeking political office.

“I’d like to thank local councillors who worked hard putting this plan together, recognising that unity of purpose will help deliver crucial benefits for the South Burnett.

“This is transformation time for the region. Urgent investment is required to give rural and regional communities a fair go and to give all of our communities the same opportunities and living standards as those living in our cities.”

Key priorities of the Action Plan include:

  • Increased affordable housing supply and improved community health services
  • An increase in agricultural water supply and reliability, with assessment of Gordonbrook Dam for irrigation use, off-site water collection from Boondooma Dam, new water for Blackbutt irrigators, the Barlil Weir, and a potential weir project on the West Barambah Catchment
  • Improved road infrastructure, including the Mundubbera-Durong Road, Memerambi-Gordonbrook Road, Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road, and Byee Road; upgrades of guardrails and bridges
  • Critical transport assets, including rail trails and cycleways
  • Continued Federal investment in major connecting freight routes to enable products to reach export markets via Bundaberg Port, Wellcamp Airport or Brisbane
  • Increase funding by 10 per cent for the Roads to Recovery and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure programs
  • Support for renewable energy projects, investment in the food manufacturing and processing sector, and improving the usage of Kingaroy Airport
  • National Park infrastructure and nature-based tourism
  • Transform Kingaroy as a “Smart Country Hub” with investment in QCN fibre, a purpose-sited ABC re-broadcast tower, and a minimum of two new mobile phone towers in the South Burnett as part of the Mobile Blackspot Program.

“Since 1996, local government costs have increased over 400 per cent while the value of the Financial Assistance Grant from the Federal Government has fallen from 1 per cent of Commonwealth tax revenue to just 0.55 per cent,” Mayor Otto said.

“Our ratepayers have lower incomes but the demand for both infrastructure and operational spending is higher per person.

“The Advocacy Action Plan tells the world what our priority funding needs are.”

Mayor Otto said the South Burnett was an area that could deliver great growth and more jobs.

“The Advocacy Plan is about local leadership and making sure the South Burnett is front and centre in the minds of State and Federal Ministers, MPs and political candidates,” he said.

“It will help us extract the best possible deal for families and business in the South Burnett.”


Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

 

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