Coalition commits $20 million jobs package to Wide Bay Burnett region

Friday, 17 June 2016

A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $20 million in the Wide Bay Burnett region to diversify the local economy, create local jobs and grow skills in the local workforce.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and LNP Candidate for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien made the announcement today.

Mr Pitt said the Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package (WBBJP) will bring forward local business investment and expansion, creating local jobs in the Hinkler electorate.

“This new jobs package will give local businesses the confidence to invest and grow. As I’ve said all along, it’s not Government which creates jobs, its businesses that create jobs.

“This package will attract matching funding from participating businesses resulting in a total package of $40 million for the region, which is the economic boost it needs.

“These grants will assist existing local businesses to grow and also offer incentives for metropolitan based companies to expand their businesses into the Wide Bay Burnett region – creating new sustainable jobs,” Mr Pitt said.

In the Hinkler electorate, businesses located in Bundaberg, Childers, Hervey Bay and surrounding areas will be eligible to apply for funding.

In the Wide Bay electorate, businesses located in Gympie, the Mary Valley, Maryborough, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Cove, Kilkivan, Goomeri and Murgon, and other parts of the South Burnett, Fraser and Cooloola Coasts will be eligible.

Mr Pitt said local communities will be involved by assessing their region’s economic opportunities and develop tailored, forward looking local investment plans.

“This will create a community-driven, government investment partnership between the Coalition Government, business and local communities.

“Local knowledge will be a vital component of the success of the jobs package,” he said.

The jobs package will:

  • Provide business innovation grants on a competitive basis to help businesses invest in new technology, diversify operations, create new export opportunities and deliver new sustainable jobs;

  • Upgrade existing local infrastructure or investing in new infrastructure to boost productivity and generate more local investment;

  • Deliver targeted skills and training programs to address regional skills shortages and supporting workers impacted by structural change to retrain and upskill.

Mr Pitt said only the Coalition Government has a plan to continue to drive the Hinkler electorate forward.

Minister for Regional Development and Nationals Deputy Leader Fiona Nash said the WBBJP will create community-driven government investment – a genuine partnership between the Coalition Government and local communities.

“The Coalition understands locals know their regions best, which is why grass-roots local knowledge is a vital part of the Coalition’s WBBJP. We don’t impose priorities for the region upon them from Canberra,” Minister Nash said.

 “As Deputy Nationals Leader and Minister for Regional Development, I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to.

“We don’t want the talents of our young people to leave for the city – they need good job prospects right here in Hinkler.

“Only the Coalition has a locally-led plan for the Hinkler electorate to create local jobs and local growth.”

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