Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Chamber president Tim Sayre discuss infrastructure in the region at the Pacific Tugs announcement on Tuesday.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Chamber president Tim Sayre discuss infrastructure in the region at the Pacific Tugs announcement on Tuesday.

Wide Bay Regional Plan: Unlocking our economic potential

WHILE it's not the Hinkler deal the region has been waiting for, the state government yesterday announced it would develop a Wide Bay Burnett regional plan which will outline the region's approach to industry and development in the future.

While there hasn't been much movement with the Hinkler Deal, Chamber of Commerce president Tim Sayre said it was still an encouraging sign that nobody had completely given up yet.

"The fact that people are still talking to us is a positive sign," he said.

With the works on Paradise Dam set to take at least another five years, Mr Sayre said projects like Pacific Tugs are vital for getting some cash flowing in the local economy.

"We are purely looking at this for how it can benefit the Bundaberg region," he said.

This comes as the state government yesterday announced a new regional plan being prepared for the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the new regional plan revised the current plan for the Wide Bay Burnett area, which was released in 2011.

"The new plan will have a tailored economic strategy which aligns land use, infrastructure and industry development to help support the expected growth in this region," Mr Dick said.

"The economic strategy will identify priorities that build upon the region's competitive advantages in aviation, advanced manufacturing and aquaculture and tourism, while also addressing any possible barriers to economic growth."

He said the revised regional plan would build on existing strengths to support new industries and the economy over the next 25 years.

"Residents will be encouraged to have their say on how they want their local area and region to look in the future," he said.

"We are also seeing changing household needs in the region and we need to consider what this means for future residents.

"The new plan will be developed in conjunction with the six councils and all Mayors will be invited to join a regional planning committee."

Opposition Minister for State Development Andrew Powell said it took the Labor government more than three years to develop the only other non-Brisbane regional plan.

"While Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to have fake fights over regional plans with the federal government, 8900 locals are left without work," Mr Powell said.

Late yesterday Minister Dick responded to questions sent by the NewsMail about whether the regional plan would provide an avenue for councils to push forward infrastructure projects.

"Government will work closely with local councils to reach agreement on the projects and decisions that will best support the region into the future, create jobs and unlock economic opportunities," Mr Dick said.



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