Trad promises to examine regional deal but offers no funds
DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad has not promised any monetary commitment to the Hinkler Regional Deal following talks with the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce today.
And although she did not meet with the Bundaberg Regional Council or with the local Federal MP during her visit, Ms Trad was open to commitments in the future which would boost the local economy.
The response would displease Federal MP Keith Pitt, who said “the state government has simply played political games for over a year.”
Ms Trad said she needed to study the regional deal in further detail when she returned to Brisbane. Ms Trad referred to her research as “homework”.
“I don’t want to prejudice the conversations that I’ve had with the chamber, but it’s fair to say there were some development opportunities around the port, there were discussions around Quay St, there were other discussions around an immediate sort of stimulus for the local economy,” Ms Trad said.
“All these things were really important issues and as Treasurer I committed to the chamber that I would go back and look at them.”
“I’ve put forward some issues to the chamber they’ll be considering as well. We are going to commit to continuing to talk to one another.”
She said Maryborough needed to be part of the deal.
Last week Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said he would now accept Maryborough’s inclusion, but only if it trialled the cashless debit card system. Ms Trad said she would remain neutral on any proposed expansion into Maryborough, and added, “that’s a decision I think that the Maryborough community needs to make, not a politician in Canberra, so that’s my only view.”
Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey said the “council will continue to fight for every dollar.”
“At the end of the day, people don’t want to see political argy-bargy, they just want to see money coming into the Bundaberg Region to support economic growth and jobs.”
Mr Pitt said that he had hoped Ms Trad had “brought her checkbook” during her visit.
“Deputy Premier Trad said just last week in parliament they delivered over $100 million for the city of Maryborough already.
“Now that says to me and everyone else that they do have room to deliver for the people of Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, and surrounds.
“It is in the interest of our region for them (state government) to get on board.”