Bundaberg Regional Council's Head of Economic Development Strategic Projects Ben Artup in Quay Street.
Bundaberg Regional Council's Head of Economic Development Strategic Projects Ben Artup in Quay Street. Mike Knott BUN020419BEN2

Time for common sense: What's next for Hinkler Regional Deal

Opinion: Carolyn Booth,

Deputy Editor

IT'S no secret the State Government isn't happy with the Hinkler Regional Deal.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has been bluntly honest with her assessment of the deal, labelling it a political stunt by Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

The state argues the deal's boundaries should be exended to benefit the entire Wide Bay-Burnett region.

Whatever you call it it's a game changer for Bundaberg and something we desperately need.

High unemployment, particularly youth, new home builds concerningly low, the Cashless Debit Card roll out, there are so many reasons why we are the logical choice to pilot the first regional deal.

The state government's stalling only hurts us. I understand that they feel this deal was done with limited consultation, but it's been announced now, it is what it is and playing political games at our expense is petty and undermines any assurances they are doing everything they can to help the people of Bundaberg.

Let us hope common sense prevails when Ms Trad and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack meet on this issue.

Between them it shouldn't be hard to resolve the political games.

Meanwhile, if the state government has identified projects that need funding in the Wide Bay Burnett, then fund them.

Delaying the rollout and refusing to commit to projects in the Hinkler Deal unless the boundaries are changed isn't helpful.

Let's take the politics out of this and commit to getting our region moving forward.