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Council’s State election wish list

By Mark Beale

Ahead of the state election on the 31st January the Whitsunday Regional Council is releasing an election wish list for the State seats of Burdekin and Whitsunday which cover the Whitsunday local government area.

Mayor Jenny Whitney said there are five key community projects which will benefit the social and economic development of the Whitsunday region and Council expects candidates in bothelectorates to support them.

“One of the five key projects has already been backed by both major parties in the Whitsunday electorate, $3 million for the upgrade of the Whisper Bay VMR boat ramp in Cannonvale,” she said.

“Council is also asking for Burdekin candidates to support $1.2 million for a Horseshoe Bay stinger net swimming enclosure and funding for the next stage of the Bowen Water Park, including improvements to the existing infrastructure.

“Burdekin candidates should also pledge $10 million for sealing the 91km Collinsville to Mt CoolonRoad, a very important connecting road for future expansion of the Galilee Basin.

“For the Whitsunday electorate, along with the funding for the Whisper Bay VMR boat ramp upgrade, Council is asking the Whitsunday candidates to pledge $1.5 million for a Proserpine Water Park at Pioneer Park.

“The fifth key project which would benefit the whole Whitsunday region is $500,000 to offset the cost of weekly charter flights from New Zealand to the Whitsunday Coast Airport during the Winter high season June-November.

“The current inbound New Zealand visitation to the Whitsunday region is 11,000 visitors per annum, 24 direct return charter flights would significantly grow this market.

“These charter flights would also positively affect the local horticulture sector, adding direct weekly access to the New Zealand market,” she said.

Mayor Whitney said Council also has a more comprehensive list of long-term goals which Council expects all candidates to support, and which Council continues to advocate for the future prosperity and growth of the Whitsunday region, including support for:

• The continued development of the Port of Abbot Point and the Abbot Point State Development Area

• The establishment of a base load power station at Collinsville and alternative energy sources

• Construction of the Urannah Dam and improvements to the Burdekin Dam Falls

• Further improvements on the Bruce Highway particularly flooding hot spots north and south of Bowen and north and south of Proserpine.

• The growth of agriculture, horticulture and seafood sectors expanding export opportunities

• Development of the Whitsunday Coast International Export Hub at the Whitsunday Coast Airport as a significant transport and export hub and regional economic driver

• The establishment of an integrated resort and casino development within the Whitsunday region.

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