North Burnett misses out

Re­gion will not share in $2 bil­lion govern­ment fund­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Coquerand

THE North Burnett re­gion has been left out of a

$2.4 bil­lion fund­ing pool from the Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund.

The goal of the fund is to cre­ate jobs, drive eco­nomic growth and sup­port strong re­gional com­mu­ni­ties across Aus­tralia by fund­ing in­fra­struc­ture and com­mu­nity in­vest­ment projects.

Mayor Rachel Cham­bers said the coun­cil ap­plied to put two projects in for fund­ing but it was un­suc­cess­ful.

“North Burnett Re­gional Coun­cil ap­plied to the BBRF (round one) with two in­fra­struc­ture projects: Mingo Cross­ing Rede­vel­op­ment (we were suc­cess­ful with the State Govern­ment fund­ing but were hope­ful of matched Fed­eral Govern­ment fund­ing) and also the Monto Bio­hub,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“Feed­back from our ap­pli­ca­tions was that both were strong but nei­ther re­ceived fund­ing which was dis­ap­point­ing.”

Cr Cham­bers said the ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment came from how much Bund­aberg re­ceived com­pared to the rest of the re­gion.

“The dis­ap­point­ment was com­pounded when Bund­aberg re­ceived fund­ing for their Bio­hub over ours which added $18 mil­lion to their al­ready funded

$16 mil­lion-plus through this grant,” she said.

“Al­though we work to­gether through WBBROC and ap­plaud any wins the greater re­gion has, the North Burnett is in dire need of some large in­fra­struc­ture spend in our re­gion as in­fra­struc­ture cre­ates jobs.”

Ma­jor de­vel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture projects in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor have been com­pleted and are un­der way across the South Burnett, Bund­aberg, Cher­bourg, Fraser Coast and Gympie.

More than 3000 jobs are ex­pected to be cre­ated as a re­sult of the fund­ing through the Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia Wide Bay Burnett chair­man Bill Trevor said the projects had been ben­e­fi­cial for the re­gion and would cre­ate “much needed jobs” for the com­mu­nity in the Burnett.

“It is ev­i­dent that there are sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments be­ing made in the health, tourism, agribusi­ness and con­struc­tion,” Mr Trevor said.

Cr Cham­bers said she would like the North Burnett to be con­sid­ered for the next round of fund­ing.

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