Jaxon and Jonah Tongiatama cooling off at WetSide Waterpark in Hervey Bay.
Jaxon and Jonah Tongiatama cooling off at WetSide Waterpark in Hervey Bay. Inge Hansen

Cashless card's $13m set-up cost: What else could that buy?

INTRODUCING a Cashless Debit Card into Hinkler would cost more than $13m, government figures show.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan this week disputed Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey's set-up costs of between $10,000 and $12,000 per person, saying the true figure would be closer to $2000.

With 6700 participants likely to be impacted in the Hinkler region, that equates to $13.4m. So what can you buy for $13.4m?

When Wetside in Hervey Bay was built in 2009 it cost $12m. Meanwhile, in Yeppoon, a top-of-the-range lagoon precinct area has just opened for $18m.

Ahead of last year's state election, the LNP promised $15m to build a water park in Bundaberg with then-candidate David Batt saying such a facility was long overdue.

The money would also easily cover what the council is seeking from the Federal Government for its $30m CBD revitalisation.

Last week the NewsMail engaged ReachTel to poll Hinkler residents on the Cashless Debit Card.

A majority of people supported the project. Of every three people who had an opinion on the card, about two were for its introduction and one against.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt is advocating for the card to help the region address ongoing social issues and tackle intergenerational unemployment.



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