One wrong word makes $62m difference for Hinkler
THE Deputy Premier's office made a typo in a press statement, and one word changes the entire meaning of a $71 million commitment it seemingly made to the Hinkler Regional Deal.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad wrote the word "provide" when it meant to say "facilitate", which made it sound like it would give $71m to the Hinkler Regional Deal.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt was confused about Ms Trad's ambiguity when he read yesterday's NewsMail, given that up until that point she committed only $9m for road infrastructure projects attached to the deal.
Ms Trad's statement was; "Our government will provide $71m from this year's budget towards agreed Hinkler Regional Deal projects that support community and transport infrastructure projects that boost economic and social development in the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions."
But what she meant by the statement was that it would use the money that the Federal Government had supplied in its budget for regional deal assets that were owned by the State.
It was not until hours after Mr Pitt's press conference that the Treasurer's office explained there was a miscommunication.
Mr Pitt asked for detail on what projects the $71m would be spent on.
He said he was also willing to compromise on the regional deal's boundary, and would open it up to Maryborough.
The absence of Maryborough from the deal had been a reason why the state government would not financially support it.
Mr Pitt had a condition. Maryborough would have to be part of the cashless debit card rollout to benefit.
The federal parliament and senate would have to approve the debit card expansion to this area.
The NewsMail sent questions about the $71m commitment to the Deputy Premier's representatives at about 9am, but it was not until six hours later that it confirmed there was a mistake.
Ms Trad said that Maryborough did not need to be part of the Cashless Debit Card system in order to fit in with the regional deal.
"We've said all along that including Maryborough in this regional deal makes sense, it doesn't need to be tied to the Cashless Debit Card program," she said.