It is the Morrison Government that has walked away from a key collaborative deal with the state and local governments to drive investment in the Wide Bay Burnett region.
Despite the Federal LNP Government’s continued lack of consultation on key announcements regarding the Hinkler Regional Deal, the Palaszczuk Government was ready to sign off on an agreement presented by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
However, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the Deputy Prime Minister tore up the agreement at the last minute, leaving the State and Local Governments in the lurch.
“I was hopeful we could participate in good faith negotiations to realise an agreement that would bring new investment and jobs for the local community,” Ms Trad said.
“A deal that would build on the Palaszczuk Government’s significant $587.8 million infrastructure investment in the Wide Bay Burnett this financial year, supporting around 2,200 jobs in this region.
“Instead the Federal LNP Government has chosen to walk away from regional Queenslanders yet again.
“It continues the Morrison Government’s approach of dictating terms for what should be a fair dinkum negotiation where State and local governments are genuine partners in developing the best possible deal for Queenslanders in the Wide Bay Burnett and Fraser Coast region.”
Ms Trad said the regardless of the Federal Government’s position, the Palaszczuk Government would honour its commitments to the region.
“I am not prepared to see the local community miss out on the Federal Government’s proposed investments under the Hinkler Regional Deal because they are unwilling to negotiate with state and local governments,” she said.
“Our government is committed to delivering on existing and budgeted commitments related to deal projects.
“This includes $6 million towards the Torbanlea Pialba Road upgrade, $2 million towards the Bargara Road upgrade, $1 million towards the Isis Overtaking Lane project; and investigation of Quay Street de-maining, to be undertaken as part of the Bundaberg Integrated Transport Study,” she said.
“We will also facilitate any necessary flow-through of Commonwealth funding to deliver the announced projects.”
Ms Trad said the Palaszczuk Government had been working especially hard to have Maryborough included within the boundary of the deal, something the Federal Government had agreed to before killing the agreement off.
“Given it’s an emerging manufacturing hub with businesses like Downer EDI Rail, Hyne Timber and Select Patient Care, the decision to completely ignore Maryborough as part of the deal was particularly confounding,” she said.
“Maryborough is no less deserving of investment than other parts of the Fraser Coast, and the local community can justifiably feel abandoned by the Federal LNP Government.”