NUMBER CRUNCHING: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
NUMBER CRUNCHING: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Mike Knott BUN300818PITT2

Pitt announces $150m figure for Regional Deal

JUST days ago federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt announced a pilot for a Regional Deal.

A regional deal is a financial commitment from all three levels of government to improve the city.

Yesterday Mr Pitt announced just how much he was expecting to deliver.

"I can tell you right now the Federal Government will not be arriving with a cheque for $3 billion, that is the reality," Mr Pitt said.

He said having the Federal Government pay for everything was just not a realistic expectation.

"This is a tri-part deal between local government, between State Government and between federal government," he said.

"I think this deal will probably end up around $150 million. Now that is not something to be sneezed at. That is a significant investment.

"We need to be reasonable about what we can achieve, and this is our one shot." The deal will be co-ordinated by the federal department for infrastructure and their counterparts at state and local level.

"I've got to say I've got great interest in our Regional Deal for our electorate, and there's a couple of things we need to keep in mind," Mr Pitt said.

"This is the first time anywhere in Australia that we have struck a deal for regional Australia and it's come to this electorate between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

"I think we do need to recognise that that in itself is an achievement for the people that represent your community."

Mr Pitt said he had fought tooth and nail for this deal, even saying he had to "go to the mattresses" to get it through.

"I had to get cabinet to change the policy around Regional Deals, because up until Monday the only regions or areas that could receive a city deal were cities above 130,000 in population," he said.

"Step one was to convince the cabinet to actually change their mind, and step two was to make sure that we beat off every other region in the country. That was a lot more difficult I have to say.

"We are on the cusp of something very significant."

Cr Ross Sommerfeld said while it wasn't a billion dollar deal, it was a start.

"They're talking $60m from federal, $60m from state and then the two councils will have to find $15m each... but least we're starting to talk about things," he said.



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