Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Bundaberg MP David Batt.
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Bundaberg MP David Batt. Contributed

LNP asks: 'Where are all the port jobs?'

THE Opposition has slammed the State Government for making no headway on the State Development Area at Port of Bundaberg two years after announcing its declaration.

In 2017, State Development and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham announced the 6000ha industrial precinct had been created to turn the port into an economic growth hotspot for Wide Bay.

The project was touted as the catalyst to bring more jobs to the region.

Today, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, Bundaberg MP David Batt and Opposition state development spokesman Andrew Powell will hold a media conference at the SDA site, where they say they plan to highlight how little has been achieved.

"Ten thousand Wide Bay residents are unemployed and the community is crying out for action,” Mr Powell said.

"Sadly, the only thing people in Bundaberg get from the Palaszczuk Labor Government is empty promises.

"Labor knows the existing road network cannot support future development yet they have done nothing to determine what upgrades are required or even developed a timeline for the upgrades.”

Mr Batt raised the issue in Parliament last year after a solar farm was approved in the western part of the area.

"Looking around today, there's certainly no work going ahead on a solar farm,” he said.

"A State Development Area is a priority to the region as it will provide opportunities for industry to grow.

"It's high time Annastacia Palaszczuk came to Bundaberg and delivered on her promises.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to prove there's a first time for everything and actually deliver this project.”

Mr Powell said the SDA was another broken promise.

"The Bundaberg State Development Area would create more jobs and that's what the region desperately needs,” he said.

"The Wide Bay region is struggling with an unemployment rate of 8.2 per cent and Annastacia Palaszczuk should be prioritising industrial growth.

"After all the fanfare and media announcements from the Palaszczuk Labor Government two years ago, nothing has been delivered for the region.”

In a statement, State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the Bundaberg SDA was a long-term project to ensure there was sufficient industrial land for economic opportunities in the future.

"The unemployment rate in the Wide Bay region is 1.8 per cent lower than it was under the LNP and when the Palaszczuk Government came to office,” he said.

"Since becoming the Minister for State Development, I have been proud to support the Bundaberg community, backing projects like the Bundaberg Aviation and Aerospace Precinct, of which the $5.2 million Stage 3 was recently announced.

"In 2018-19, throughout the Wide Bay, we're investing $591.7 million in infrastructure projects supporting around 2200 construction jobs.

"While we acknowledge there is more work to do, 700 jobs were created over the last year in the Wide Bay region.

"Under Back to Work, a program the LNP committed to axing at the last election, we have also supported Wide Bay businesses to hire 3137 people, including 1949 young people.”

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