$5m towards multiplex a 'shot in the arm'
THE second stage of the PCYC Multiplex project is a big step closer thanks to a long-awaited $5m set be to chipped in by the Federal Government if they are re-elected next month.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was in town today to announce the funding, which mayor Jack Dempsey has described as a "shot in the arm", in a stopover on the election trail.
"The Bundaberg region is moving forward and it's open for development," Cr Dempsey said as he joined Mr Joyce and Hinkler MP and assistant to Mr Joyce, Keith Pitt.
"This $5m will add value to economic development not just for Bundaberg but for the whole of the Wide Bay region."
Council estimates suggest it would add around $35m in added value for the region.
If you are a motelier, if you own a restaurant, if you work in the hospitality industry, if you provide a service, this means more jobs for you and more jobs for the region
The project as a whole will cost $29m.
Stage 1, a $14.5m sporting facility overseen by the PCYC with local sporting groups, is now under construction and set for completion in October. Stage 2 will aim to make Bundaberg a hub for events, including additional conference facilities, conference rooms, a commercial kitchen and a cafe.
"(It boosts) the ability to attract events into this region, which strengthens our local economy," Mr Pitt said.
"If you are a motelier, if you own a restaurant, if you work in the hospitality industry, if you provide a service, this means more jobs for you and more jobs for the region."
"What's really exciting about this $5m is it will mean a saving for the ratepayers, and it will mean more visiting this region, more people going through our airport, more people filling our hotel rooms, our cafes," Cr Dempsey said.
"And at the end of the day, we want more people coming here and seeing the beautiful region we live in, to buy and establish their families here - so I can get more rates and drive down the cost for current ratepayers."
The contract for stage two stipulates almost 80% of the build will be for local builders.
"Although tied to the return of a Coalition government, these funds represent a potential economic boost for the Bundaberg Region and will financially support local contractors and suppliers."
With $5m already put in by the State Government, the council will fund the remaining $2.5m of the $12.5m project.
Cr Dempsey said the council was waiting for the announcement of support funding for Stage 2 of the multipurpose facility prior to committing further community funds to the project.
"While Council has yet to formalise a decision on proceeding with Stage 2 I am confident this commitment will be the catalyst for a positive recommendation," he said.
He thanked Keith Pitt for his role in securing the funding.
"We all realise that competition for assistance funding is extremely keen across the nation and we are grateful our project has been able to attract support."
"It's great to be able to announce today $5m to go toward the second stage of this multiplex," Mr Joyce said at the PCYC site on Kensington St.
"This facility will attract people into the area - attract people in for conventions, so they can have a social outing; and attract sport and tourism into the area.
"There's been so much work done by people on the ground and people like Keith.
"This program is a good program for jobs, it's a great program for growth, and it's a great program for all the people who live in the Bundaberg area."
Cr Dempsey said the second stage of construction was already fully planned and was available to go to immediate tender once Council has formally endorsed the project.
The recent sale of property at the East Bundaberg State School for $1.65m will help cover costs, meaning council should only need to borrow "a minimal amount" to complete Stage 2.