Hinkler MP Keith Pitt.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt. Brian Cassidy

Politicians say report on job creation is 'welcome'

BUNDABERG'S state and federal politicians have welcomed the findings of a report calling for a focus on environmental protection, job creation and long-term financial stability for the region.

The report, commissioned by an alliance of 70 conservation and agricultural organisations, analyses the financial viability of investing in conservation and land management.

It found straetgies based around eco-tourism and environmental management could create 1800 full-time equivalent positions could be created based around the Great Barrier Reef catchment area.

The analysis by Ernst & Young, released today, says an investment of $150 million by the Federal Government, matched by $100 million from the state and $50 million co-investment from delivery partners could provide the 1800 jobs over a period of four years.

The report reveals the investment would provide $680 million in long-term economic benefits for the region.

The report predicts the Bundaberg region would see a 10 per cent rise to a 17 per cent unemployment rate in the wake of the coronavirus.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the Federal Government was optimistic about the findings.

"The Morrison Government has engaged extensively with the Pew Charitable Trusts on their proposal to stimulate Australia's economic recovery by funding jobs," he said.

"We welcome the release of the report and look forward to reviewing the findings.

"The government is committed to a strong focus on recovery as we move through the COVID-19 crisis."

Mr Pitt said the government had been working hard to ensure a recovery plan for Australia.

"Unprecedented investment from the Australian Government into JobKeeper payments, cash flow support for businesses, as well as fast-tracking projects through local governments are just some of the initiatives to help get through the pandemic," he said.

"There has already been a significant investment in the electorate through the Hinkler Regional Deal and its projects which will lead to more local jobs.

"Projects like the multi-use conveyor at the Port of Bundaberg, roads projects in both Hervey Bay and Bundaberg, the Ag-Tech Hub and the Royal Flying Doctor aeromedical training centre."

Bundaberg MP David Batt said the report aligned with his party's beliefs.

"The report commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trust covers the Great Barrier Reef catchment area, from here in the Wide Bay through to Cape York," he said.

"The report aligns with the the LNP's strong record of environmental protection to ensure our kids and their kids enjoy Queensland's natural beauty."

It was the LNP which first banned oil and gas operations on the Great Barrier Reef and deemed the Reef to be of World Heritage Standard.

"Queensland's protected areas and Great Barrier Reef provides enormous natural heritage and economic value to our state," Mr Batt said.

"The LNP will focus on practical outcomes that protect the reef and support local jobs."

The NewsMail contacted state tourism minister Kate Jones but a response was no received by deadline.