What Gympie needs if it wants to join the economic 'boom'
GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett has revealed his vision for Gympie in State Parliament, outlining key projects that need to happen if the region is to be a part of the economic and social "boom” that is coming.
Among those key infrastructure projects are an upgraded Wide Bay Hwy intersection with the Bruce Hwy, a raised Borumba Dam, a new multi-purpose function centre, a multi-disciplinary medical facility on the Cooloola Coast and an ambulance station at Glenwood.
"Well placed and strategically thought out infrastructure and planning is needed to ensure Gympie reaps the full benefits of a future economic and social boom.
Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, told Parliament this month Gympie's future was reliant on addressing current weaknesses and problems while ensuring long term planning and construction meets future demands and expectations.
"Getting the right mix will put us on the cusp of a bright future,” he said.
"We need to address systemic high unemployment levels, provide infrastructure which supports future growth and business opportunities, make our road network safer and more efficient, raise education levels to give locals better chances for securing meaningful work, differentiate ourselves from other regions in attracting tourists, and provide quality facilities for health, education, sport and culture.
"Gympie will thrive and grow if we provide real job prospects, practical support for families and the community, greater investment in local infrastructure projects, maintenance and improvement of existing facilities, and targeted support and incentives for local business.
"We are in a strategically located high growth commercial and residential corridor with more than three million consumers within a two hour travelling time.
"Our solid economy is one of the most diverse of any non-metropolitan region in Queensland, making it more attractive than those which experience fluctuating peaks and troughs in industries like tourism and mining.
"The right investment will provide confidence and unleash the potential of the private sector to value add, borrow, invest, grow and generate jobs.
"The integration of our local road network with a world class transport corridor to the north and south is key to opening up our region.
"While we stand on our own equally we are not isolated and are increasingly becoming more connected to the south, especially to changes on the Sunshine Coast.
"The Bruce Hwy upgrades means we have dual carriageway from Melbourne to Gympie and continued upgrades will provide an uninterrupted four laning to regions in the north.
"While the fast tracking the Gympie Bypass is another welcome milestone our transport corridors are not limited to the Bruce Hwy.
"That is why I supported the LNP's $2.5 million commitment towards the business case for a visionary Very Fast Train from Brisbane to Bundaberg, the $13.2 million to improve safety, efficient and capacity at 14 intersections between Gympie and Curra, $10 million to upgrade the Coondoo Creek Bridge and improved access to the Cooloola Coast, flood proofing roads, improved access to the south side of Gympie, and $100,000 for a long term strategic plan of Gympie road network.
"Traffic from western areas is frequently banking up at Bell's Bridge, at the intersection of the Bruce and Wide Bay Hwys, and safety is being compromised because it has not been upgraded.
"The Federal Government has already committed its $11.2 million share of the funds in May last year and the State needs to stop stonewalling and commit its $2.8 million share of the $14 million project.
"Practical common sense policies which use taxpayers' money carefully and prudently will let Gympie achieve its full economic and lifestyle potential.
"Granting the lease of an empty and unused TAFE building to the USC, continuation of the Bruce Hwy upgrade, investment in a multi-purpose function centre, supporting local small businesses to provide real long term employment opportunities instead of short term subsidies, and reducing pointless red and green tape which is choking local industries, and family friendly adventure and nature based tourism opportunities.
"Local government investment in industrial land, with established trunk infrastructure, will reduce the cost for medium to large businesses to move and develop here.
"A vision for the future involves planning to raise the Borumba Dam which will deliver tourism opportunities and ensure water security for domestic, agriculture and business needs.
"Public and private partnerships can deliver much needed services.
"Upgrades identified in the Gympie Hospital Master Plan need fast tracking and a multi-disciplinary medical centre at the Cooloola Coast and an ambulance station at Glenwood will help fill the gap in medical services.
"Increased accessibility to the north will increase the attractiveness of areas such as Glenwood and interest from people wanting to live in the region.
"Some existing facilities are already feeling the pinch and others will be stretched within the next 10 to 15 years.
"Planning needs to start on a multi-purpose function centre for cultural and sporting events and we need to be looking at another high school.
"With our solid and diverse economy, increased business and education opportunities, transport links, affordable property values, open friendly and vibrant community we can reap the rewards of potentially being Queensland's next boom town,” he said.