Cutting deficit one of the targets

ONE of Bundaberg Regional Council’s priorities is reducing its deficit, according to finance portfolio holder Greg Barnes.

The deficit stands at about $12 million, and the council is examining different ways to tackle it.

“We’ve made a conscious decision to cut out any borrowings for social infrastructure, such as swimming pools,” Cr Barnes said.

But he said the decision to go ahead with the $4 million airport was justified on the grounds of economic development, particularly tourism.

“We’re still working on getting another airline into the airport,” he said.

“We really need to get that Bundaberg-to-Sydney link.”

However, he said the recent decision by QantasLink to increase flights into and out of Bundaberg was a step in the right direction.

Cr Barnes said there was a lot of interest in the Bundaberg region from business operators, particularly in the tourism field.

“They’re telling us the biggest thing is providing access to Lady Musgrave Island,” he said.

Cr Barnes said agriculture was still one of the main supports of the region, but there were a lot of exciting manufacturing opportunities in the pipeline.

He said the council had to target business investment.

“We’ve got a lot of developers coming in, but at the end of the day you can’t just grow houses,” he said.

“People want to live here but they also want employment opportunities and facilities.”



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