Gympie's most influential reveals their vision for region
WHEN it comes to the future of Gympie, MP Llew O'Brien says it is a vision of jobs.
And the Wide Bay politician says he believes the key to unlocking it is already in the region's hands.
"We've got some incredibly smart and innovative people in this region,” he said.
"There are people who with the right support through all three levels of government can make a massive dent in our unemployment rates here.”
To do this he hopes to bring help by way of the Commonwealth to create more job-growing projects in the region.
Paying down the country's debt and improving the economy were going to help, too.
This is the next stage of Mr O'Brien's vision for the region, one already taking shape through major projects like the $1billion Gympie Bypass and the long-awaited Coondoo Creek Bridge upgrade.
Mr O'Brien says these projects are great for the region, but not a daily occurrence.
"Big-ticket items like Section D are fairly rare,” he said.
"Obviously I'd like to see that continue... like Section E (north of Gympie).”
And is there anywhere his vision has fallen down?
"I'd like things to happen quicker,” Mr O'Brien said.
"Everybody knows government moves slowly, but the projects, if they're not adequately achieved in quick time people's lives are affected really negatively, sometimes people are killed.
"Where I'm happy about things like the upgrade to the highway north of Gympie right through to Maryborough, I'm not happy we haven't got bulldozers cutting tracks for Section D (the bypass) yet.
"That's a combination of bureaucracy... primarily the fault of the State Government but I'm not in any way trying to say federal bureaucracy is some sort of finely tuned instrument that's breaking world records.
"Whilst we're achieving great things, there are things coming I wish we could achieve quicker. As backbencher I can wield as much influence as I can.
"Often, as has been my track record, that's done by negotiating with the leadership of the country until sometimes the point where those negotiations may not be as successful as what I'd hoped. Sometimes I have to speak to them via The Gympie Times or The Australian.
"But at the end of the day I will always do what I believe is best for the Wide Bay and I will use whatever resource ... at my disposal. I've had some good wins that weren't on the radar in 2016 but there's just so much more to do.”