More than two years after its declaration, State Members for Bundaberg and Burnett are again renewing calls for action on the Bundaberg State Development Area (SDA) at the Port.
The pleas come as a result of questions asked by Mr Batt in Wednesday’s State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee Estimate’s Hearing in Queensland Parliament.
Mr Batt asked the Department of State Development’s Coordinator-General (CG) whether work had begun on the approved solar farm and if any other projects had started or are available within the SDA.
“In February, I stood at the Port with the Stephen Bennett MP and Shadow Minister for State Development Andrew Powell to inspect the lack of progress at the SDA,” Mr Batt said.
“It’s been over two years since the government declared the location an SDA and the site for the approved solar farm remains untouched.
“The only other project that was mentioned was an approved area for spoil to be dumped and all other projects listed are located on land owned by the Gladstone Ports Corporation and are not in the SDA.
“An area for spoil disposal isn’t much for the government to be hanging their hat on after two years, I don’t think many locals would think that’s progress.”
During the hearing, Mr Batt also sought confirmation on whether the government had investment plans for Bundaberg’s SDA.
“Seeing as the government has invested nearly $13 million into the Gladstone SDA, I was keen to find out if Bundaberg would receive a similar commitment.
“In stark contrast to Gladstone, it appears Labor has no plans to replicate the investment for Bundaberg.
“In an area with historically high unemployment, the SDA is a priority for our region and has the potential to provide opportunities for local industry to grow, creating jobs along the way.”
State Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the Labor Government has once again demonstrated their unwillingness to invest in the growth of their own regions.
“Our region is crying out for jobs, development and government commitment and all we’re seeing are empty promises and more delays.
“We need cooperation from all levels of government and industry to deliver projects to help drive the local economy and create jobs.
“Disappointingly, we have not seen the Labor Government do anything or commit anything to progress the SDA in more than two years.
“When asked about the approved solar farm, Labor didn’t even know it’s status.
“Two years is a long time to do nothing.”
Thursday. 25 July 2019