In­vest­ment is vi­tal to econ­omy

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Bran­don Livesay bran­

THE North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil is in need of ma­jor trans­port in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment to en­sure the econ­omy re­mains vi­able.

A health check of the na­tion’s econ­omy com­mis­sioned by the Aus­tralian Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion found in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment re­mained a core re­gional is­sue across Aus­tralia.

The State of the Re­gions re­port analy­ses govern­ment debt, house­hold wealth and the risk of in­ef­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in re­gional Aus­tralia.

North Bur­nett Mayor Don Waugh said a heavy duty line was “the top of my wish list”.

“A heavy duty line from South­West Downs, through Mun­dub­bera, Gayn­dah, Biggenden and into the Port of Bund­aberg,” CrWaugh said.

“That would give ac­cess to iron ore, baux­ite, cat­tle – ev­ery sort of pro­duce.

“We could also have a line con­nect­ing Monto to the Port of Bund­aberg too.

“We’ve got that cor­ri­dor there so it’s all quite pos­si­ble.

“It’s just a mat­ter of fund­ing.”

The re­port found that if re­gions had any hope of grow­ing em­ploy­ment and real in­comes, they must first grow their cap­i­tal stock.

“What is re­quired is a strat­egy which will in­crease trans­port in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment as a share of GDP to the pre-1998 bench­mark of 2% over the next decade,” the re­port read.

“This will restore the ra­tio of trans­port in­fra­struc­ture cap­i­tal stock to GDP to 24% by 2023.”

ALGA pres­i­dent Felic­ity-Ann Lewis said the re­port re­in­forced calls for fed­eral fund­ing for nat­u­ral disas­ter mit­i­ga­tion to $200 mil­lion over the next four years.

She said pro­tect­ing com­mu­ni­ties from nat­u­ral dis­as­ters was crit­i­cal in re­duc­ing re­cov­ery costs.

In many re­gions hit by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, lead­ing econ­o­mist Dr Peter Brian found some may never be able to foot the dam­age bill.

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