UPGRADES ON THE CARDS: Rec Precinct entry artist impression.
UPGRADES ON THE CARDS: Rec Precinct entry artist impression.

New look: $83 million to boost region’s economy, jobs

BUNDABERG’S aesthetic, facilities and roads are set for an upgrade as part of the Bundaberg Regional Council’s multimillion-dollar capital works program.

A boost to the economy and employment, the $83 million program was announced as part of the 2020-2021 Bundaberg Regional Council budget handed down yesterday.

Of the multiple capital projects set to go ahead $3.32 million has been allocated towards upgrading facilities at the Bundaberg Recreation Precinct, while $12.6 million has been set aside for the Gregory River water treatment plant to complete the $18 million project.

A number of road upgrades have also been earmarked.

Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey said the budget provided support for the construction industry which would help power economic recovery in the region.

Aimed at hosting events like the Bundaberg Show, Agrotrend, Carols by Candlelight, canine and equestrian uses, a master plan of the rec precinct was completed earlier this year which included an entry statement, flexible event spaces, expanded accommodation and landscaping.

Council’s sport and recreation spokesman Cr Vince Habermann said the first stage would include a new administration/entrance building with ticket booths, meeting rooms for events and community organisations, and office space for event coordination.

“There will be gates installed with a pedestrian plaza leading into the precinct,” he said.

“It will be a pedestrian-friendly avenue with space to install public art, historical images, banners, event-specific displays and information.

“First impressions matter and we want to make sure that visitors have a positive view of the Bundaberg Region when they come here for events.”

Cr Habermann said the main entrance plaza would have a “wow factor” and the plaza would enable informal gatherings and mobile food vendors.

“Seating, lighting and landscaping will create a sense of anticipation of what lies beyond,” he said.

Cr Habermann said the project will be funded with support from Federal and State Government grants including Works for Queensland.

Batchlers Rd, Gooburrum, is also set to see an $850,000 upgrade as part of the capital works program.

Mayor Jack Dempsey, Cr Jason Bartels and Cr Tracey McPhee at Batchlers road which will be upgraded.
Mayor Jack Dempsey, Cr Jason Bartels and Cr Tracey McPhee at Batchlers road which will be upgraded.

The Bundaberg Regional Council has committed $542,000 to improve the road between Moore Park Rd and Loeskow St after the Federal Government announced $308,000 in Black Spot funding for the project last year.

Council’s roads spokesman Cr Bill Trevor said Batchlers Rd was an important rural access route, which supports farming operations.

“The road from the Moore Park Road end to the curve is a single-lane bitumen seal, which is in a poor state and needs repair,” he said.

“On the eastern end, there is a 1km section of gravel road.

“There have been four crashes, including one fatality, in just over five years on the eastern section of Batchlers Rd.

“Improvements will include sealing and widening the road to six metres and reconstructing the curve for better visibility.”

He said traffic numbers on the improved road will be monitored to determine if additional safety measures might be needed.

Some of the other capital projects in 2020-21 include:

  • Back Windermere Road $2.6 million
  • Branyan Dr/Avoca Rd/Dittman Rd traffic lights and upgrade $1.28 million
  • One Mile Creek Monduran Rd bridge replacement $1.24 million
  • Hamanns Rd, Apple Tree Creek, crossing upgrade $1.285 million
  • Coonarr Beach Rd sealing $640,000
  • Elliott Heads Holiday Park upgrades $620,000
  • Moncrieff auditorium lights $316,860
  • Gin Gin streetscape $800,000 (completion of project)
  • Settlement Rd sealing $970,742

Mayor Dempsey thanked the State Government for its support through COVID Works For Queensland $7.1 million and the Federal Government for $2.1 million in roads funding.