WHAT YOU WANT: Where Bundy people see our future going
WHILE levels of government do battle over regional deals and plans, the people of Bundaberg have spoken on what they believe is the best way forward to create the Bundaberg they would want to live in.
It's no secret that, often, residents of an area are its harshest critics.
When the NewsMail posed the question on its Facebook page on what was good about the region, what changes locals would like to see and where we need to move in the future, the response was in-depth, well thought-out and paints a pleasing image of a city where people have the future's best interests at heart.
Bundaberg people, based on nearly 100 comments and replies on the post, want a region that maintains its comfortable, relaxed lifestyle but also pushes ahead with industry, business and manufacturing.
Unsurprisingly, they want a city with enough jobs to not be forced to leave to find work or chase a career - the positive in this, is people do want to stay.
When it comes to recreation, requests are relatively modest - a water park is still front and centre within the minds of most, while more bike and cycle paths are wanted, along with skate parks and fenced play areas.
Clinton Honor was one local who expressed the importance of politicians stopping to listen to the public on the region's future.
" If I was a politician, I'd be watching this post with careful attention however there will be the usual, need more jobs, need more industry, need more infrastructure etc," he said.
"A town and city is built on people, not what is there. A city can have jobs nowhere near filled but if people don't want work or who aren't skilled, there is a problem.
"People make an economy. Economics at a local level in my very amateurish nature is what we put in and spend, locally helps us locally. Also, the more people want to work and want to provide to make the local region better, has a sizable impact.
"Think about it, the more we put in, the more we get back."
Mr Honor said he believed the key to progress was to not be afraid of positive change.
"I know so many who are changing their cane crops to macadamias," he said.
"I know so many who are seeking work outside of town in the mines but are spending so much money locally to fix houses and buy household products.
"I know people who love Bundaberg and support it. If you do the same, we will move forward."
Mr Honor reminded fellow locals not to fall into the trap of negativity when faced with an issue in the region.
"Do something about it and change the future for our kids and our region," he said.
Among the positives quoted by readers, were Bundaberg's lifestyle and natural assets as well as activities such as fishing.
So what does the people's plan for Bundaberg look like?
A new hospital, which is in the pipeline for the region, is seen as a priority by readers who are also calling for more GPs and more medical specialists.
Locals want to see drug use tackled and are concerned about needles not being disposed of properly for public safety.
Locals are also calling for less fast food restaurants to be allowed in the city.
Lack of employment is perhaps the region's oldest bugbear, with many lamenting the fact they've had to leave town just to find work.
Jennifer Taylor wants higher levels of government to get involved to help ease the unemployment burden.
"Employers need to be supported by the state and federal governments in hiring more trainees and apprentices," she said.
"Industries will not thrive unless they have trained people working in them."
Locals are tired of domestic violence and drug crime and want to see both forms of crime targeted heavily.
Several readers raised concerns over growing homelessness in the city.
Bullying in schools was listed as another social concern.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
Bundaberg people want to see shops in the city open and thriving and new industry and businesses welcomed with open arms.
Local people believe manufacturing opportunities are vital but also want assets and investments to be immune from too much foreign investment.
There are no calls for anything over the top - locals want activities that are active, healthy and fun.
Improving cycle networks and cycle safety is a big wish, along with a waterpark.
Readers would also like improved walking paths and fenced playgrounds.
Laurie Lebherz would like to see a skate park near the North Bundaberg shops.
"(It's) such a big area and just a path way through it," she said.
"More things for kids to keep them off the streets."
Jon Carman said walking and cycling connectivity connecting regional communities was a must and presented a solution for a tourist attraction that could just hit multiple goals all in one go.
"Develop a 'paddock to plate' trail/s using the cane train network where possible to add to the novelty and uniqueness of the experience," he said.
"This could connect places like horticultural activities on farms and packing sheds, the Port precinct and seafood, and the cafe scene at Bargara and so on.
"Yes, I know it requires coordination between different entities, but am confident that properly marketed, it would be a huge economic boost with extra jobs as a bonus.
"Also why not capitalise on a slogan like 'the Bundaberg region; home of the famous Aussie spirit'.
"I'm certain that there could be no objections to that."
A practical and straightforward lot, the Bundaberg community simply wants reliability and accountability from all levels of government.
Lino Bagarozza said people were tired of promises without action.
"I don't think things will improve until more industries come here," he said.
"The economy needs people in jobs," he said.
"The old saying it's round and made to go round. The city cannot survive on welfare, it needs people in work to make the economy work.
"The spin-off from people in gainful employment will benefit not only the town, but the security of its citizens.
"I don't think blaming anyone is going to work."
Mr Bagarozza said it was imperative that governments set up more incentives to businesses so they had the power to make jobs.
"Politicians have not got a clue on how to fix it. Good at promises but short on result" he said.
"All have to pull together and get this done.
"I only wish that this will happens and save this wonderful city."
Readers also called for a greater focus on the smaller towns surrounding the city, and on the good things they are achieving.
Concerns were raised around the health of the river, a lack of public transport late in the day and a call for caps to be applied to high-rises in a resounding call for the region not to lose its innocent charm.