Port growth tipped to be our turn­ing point:

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A BOLD vi­sion to trans­form the Wide Bay Bur­nett’s econ­omy and un­leash its po­ten­tial will be un­veiled at a re­gional fo­rum in Bund­aberg to­day.

A new study shows that de­vel­op­ing ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture linked to the Port of Bund­aberg would cre­ate 24,735 new jobs and de­liver $6 bil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

The mod­el­ling by Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nomics is con­tained in a re­port pre­pared for Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil, the Wide Bay Bur­nett Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils and Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tion.

Anal­y­sis shows that $2.696 bil­lion of tar­geted in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment across 12 projects would trans­form the re­gion’s econ­omy and di­rectly ad­dress decades of chronic unem­ploy­ment.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said there was now a busi­ness case for the Fed­eral and State govern­ments to in­vest in growth.

“Re­gional coun­cils want our fed­eral and state mem­bers to take this for­ward to de­ci­sion mak­ers in Can­berra and Bris­bane,” he said.

“This is a game changer. For the first time we have de­tailed mod­el­ling to prove that build­ing in­fra­struc­ture will cre­ate jobs and stim­u­late eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to the ben­e­fit of our re­gion, the state and the na­tion.”

Two fu­ture eco­nomic sce­nar­ios were mod­elled by Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nomics on the im­pact of greater pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in the Wide Bay Bur­nett.

De­pend­ing on the level of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment pro­vided, the out­look for the re­gion is sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent.

Sce­nario One is a low to medium growth out­look. Un­der this sce­nario, $521 mil­lion of in­fra­struc­ture, $1.95 bil­lion ad­di­tional gross re­gional prod­uct

and 8,245 ad­di­tional jobs could be de­liv­ered across the re­gion.

This sce­nario ex­cludes fund­ing of nec­es­sary up­grades to the Bur­nett High­way, a new rail link be­tween the Port and North Bur­nett Min­er­als Prov­ince and the outer har­bour.

As a re­sult, only a small num­ber of known agri­cul­tural and re­sources projects would go ahead across the re­gion.

Sce­nario Two is a high to aspi­ra­tional growth out­look. Un­der this sce­nario, $2,696 mil­lion of in­fra­struc­ture, along with $6.05 bil­lion ad­di­tional gross re­gional prod­uct and 24,735 jobs would be de­liv­ered across the re­gion.

The study shows that de­vel­op­ing the Port of Bund­aberg is “fun­da­men­tally linked ... to un­leash­ing the re­gion’s eco­nomic po­ten­tial”.

“With­out th­ese in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments, the trade and eco­nomic growth po­ten­tial of the Wide Bay Bur­nett will be con­strained,” it stated.

The re­port will be pre­sented at the Wide bay Bur­nett Re­gional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Growth Fo­rum to­day, af­ter which it will be handed to the state and fed­eral govern­ments in a bid to gain their sup­port.

HIGH GROWTH: The Port of Bund­aberg.

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