Plea for cash to fast-track major Gladstone projects
POLITICIANS may have been at Canberra, but this week their focus turned to regional cities like Gladstone, which are considered the drivers for the nations economy.
The spotlight shone on Gladstone when the Regional Australia Institute released its analysis on Australia's regional cities, and discussions were made about the Northern Australia development agenda.
Gladstone region mayor Matt Burnett made the trip to Canberra to prove why Gladstone projects deserved the federal cash splash.
Mr Burnett said the meeting was an opportunity to push to fast-track funds for the CQUniversity Marina Campus and Philip St upgrades.
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He said being part of the Northern Australia development agenda gave our city access to a vital funding pool for future projects.
"The idea, from my point of view, is that we want to be part of any extra funding pool we can get," Mr Burnett said.
"We have projects from Raglan to Many Peaks that fit every category of that funding pool from roads to infrastructure to environment."
The regional city research showed that over a 30-year period for every 100,000 Australians who choose to live in growing small cities, rather than in our big five capitals, an additional $50 billion will be released into the economy in reduced congestion costs and increased consumption.
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said it was statistics like these which proved the great opportunities in Gladstone.
"Regional cities like Gladstone are integral to the growth of Australia's economy," Mr O'Dowd said.
"If you look at the enormous investment, some $75-80 billion, the three Curtis Island LNG plants brought to the economy, and especially Gladstone, it is clear the region is highly considered by major investors.
"It is hoped through this that we can see more effective public services as well as a softening of the boom-bust cycle we are so used to at the hands of the commodity prices here in Gladstone."
Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan said there was funding for more than $500million worth of projects already approved for northern Australia.
"Already the north punches above its economic weight, producing almost 12% of our economic output from just over 5% of Australians. Investing in the north will benefit all Australians."