28/11/2016

Statement on Coalition Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund supporting projects in Maryborough and Gympie – Federation Chamber

I congratulate the Liberal-National coalition government on the success of its National Stronger Regions Fund. The National Stronger Regions Fund was an initiative of the National Party, led by my predecessor in Wide Bay.

 

The former Leader of the Nationals and former Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, understood the need for the federal government to provide support to local councils and community groups to assist them to build infrastructure in their communities. The National Stronger Regions Fund supports projects that address disadvantage in regions around Australia. These projects are helping to unlock the economic potential of local communities and create jobs.

In Queensland, the coalition government is investing more than $125 million in 40 projects. In Wide Bay, I am pleased to say that the Gympie Regional Council has received $5 million for its new aquatic centre. The new aquatic centre includes a 50-metre outdoor regional competition pool as well as a 25-metre heated indoor pool. I am really pleased the federal government has been able to partner in this project and deliver funding through the National Stronger Regions Fund to assist with the construction of the facility. The new aquatic centre is destined to become a prized community asset. It will be used by families for recreation, and schools and swimming squads for training and competition. It is creating jobs and supporting new investment during the construction phase and will sustain local jobs once it is open. There is no doubt the aquatic centre will bring a real boost to Gympie and Wide Bay.

The National Stronger Regions Fund is also supporting the renovation and refurbishment of Gympie’s Pavilion Conference and Reception Centre. The coalition government has allocated more than $548,000 to the project that was brought forward by the Gympie Regional Council. When finished, the new multipurpose conference and events facility will create new business, recreation and social opportunities for Gympie. I thank the Gympie Regional Council for these National Stronger Regions Fund applications, and I look forward to the benefits they will deliver.

In Maryborough the National Stronger Regions Fund is supporting stage 2 of the Fraser Coast Military Trail through a $900,000 commitment from the coalition government. This iconic project tells the story of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli and the first man ashore, a Maryborough man, Duncan Chapman. The $1.8 million Fraser Coast Military Trail is a project of national significance, and when completed has the potential to draw tourists from all over Australia to Maryborough. The war memorial will tell the stories of courage and bravery, sacrifice and service of our diggers, and will help to preserve the Anzac legend for generations. The project will feature a representation of the cliffs of Gallipoli, information bays and specially-commissioned sculptures. A trench walk symbolising the Western Front and a memorial of the Battle of Pozieres, where Major Duncan Chapman was killed in 1916, will complete this very special and unique landmark project. The Fraser Coast Military Trail tells a story of our region’s involvement in the war effort, linking local attractions and new works. It commemorates Wide Bay’s significant links to military activities and its training and support services on the home front. I give credit to the support of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, Maryborough RSL and especially Nancy Bates for bringing this unique project forward.

Also in Maryborough, the National Stronger Regions Fund is supporting the extension of the Brolga Theatre. The coalition government has committed $325,000 towards the construction of an all-weather area that will enable the theatre to hold large functions and host an even greater variety of public events. I thank Bill Trevor, Scott Rowe and the Wide Bay Regional Development Australia Committee, for their work in assisting the applicants to develop these proposals that will deliver lasting benefits to Wide Bay communities.

All of these projects are job creating and will strengthen the economy and provide more social and cultural opportunities for people in Wide Bay and visitors to our region. These projects would not be possible without the support of the Liberal National coalition government through the National Stronger Regions Fund.