Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the new North Queensland stadium in Townsville, where the first seat was put in place with the help of former North Queensland Cowboys player Johnathan Thurston (PICTURED). PICTURE: Matt Taylor.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the new North Queensland stadium in Townsville, where the first seat was put in place with the help of former North Queensland Cowboys player Johnathan Thurston (PICTURED). PICTURE: Matt Taylor.

Far North surges ahead with projects but Bundy isn’t moving

AS THE Hinkler Regional Deal sits in a political stalemate, Wide Bay residents don’t have to look too far north to see just what can be achieved when all levels of government play ball together.

On Monday photos of a beaming Johnathan Thurston and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk were broadcast as the pair checked out the installation of the first 25,000 seats in Townsville’s new $290 million North Queensland Stadium.

In fact, within the past couple of days, the state government has been spruiking a number of projects, funding and achievements going ahead in the Townsville region.

Since Tuesday, the Queensland Government has announced for Townsville:

  • $25,000 for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music
  • $1m sponsorship for Townsville Fire — Qld’s only team in national women’s basketball league
  • A land-based lobster farm — supporting 1000 jobs
  • 20,000 jobs through Back to Work program
  • $3.5m through Townsville Marine Tourism Precinct development
  • $245m for North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough State Recovery Plan 2020-21
  • $5m Defence Supply Chain Hub
  • Host of the 2020 Study Queensland International Education and Training Summit
  • Major projects CopperString and Burdekin Falls Dam upgrade going through approval processes

It’s been an exciting time for Townsville, which has this week hosted parliament, as the city surges ahead following the signing of a city deal by all three levels of government in 2016.

The Wide Bay’s chance to see a significant infrastructure spend is currently stalling.

While the Federal Government has a $173 million commitment on the table, the state wants Maryborough to be included in a deal.

No-one is showing signs of budging.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is handling negotiations for the state.

However, the deal may not be the biggest thing on her mind today with the Crime and Corruption Commission expected to determine whether it will investigate Ms Trad over allegations that she did not declare an investment property.

Ms Trad will reportedly stand down from her position if the CCC decide to investigate.

Yesterday, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt’s office said he had consistently urged the state to commit to projects in the electorate.

A spokesperson for the deputy premier said the Queensland Government’s position remained unchanged.

“We will not take part in a process that excludes a very important part of the Wide Bay economy — Maryborough,” the spokesperson said.