IN THE lead-up to the Federal Election the NewsMail called for a Fair Go for regional and rural Australia.
The campaign helped make health in the regions a key topic during the election, with the Coalition announcing it had a plan to close the health gaps in rural areas compared to the city.
Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash unveiled her plans to appoint Australia's first ever National Rural Health Commissioner and establish a National Rural Generalist Pathway if the Coalition was re-elected.
As part of the NewsMail's commitment to hold politicians accountable for their promises to deliver funding to our region, we've put together a list of those made by Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt in the run towards the July Federal Election.
With Mr Pitt now sworn in as Assistant Minister for for Trade, Tourism and Investment, we asked him about his commitment to the projects which impact our region and when we can expect to see them delivered.
While Mr Pitt continued to throw his commitment behind the projects, in a statement from his office, part of the responsibility for securing funding was placed with project applicants.
"Before funding is provided, project applicants need to provide information to the relevant department, and once funding contracts are signed it is the applicants themselves who are responsible for delivering the projects including obtaining appropriate approvals," the response stated.
"For example, timelines around delivering mobile phone towers will be worked out with the telecommunications companies delivering them and are subject to factors such as council approvals.
"Another example is the $1.4 million Kay McDuff Drive extension - this was part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. It will be funded and delivered as soon as practicably possible in conjunction with Bundaberg Regional Council."
1. $20 million for the Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package
Grants would be available for existing local businesses to grow and offer incentives for metropolitan-based companies to expand their businesses into the Wide Bay Burnett region.
In the Hinkler electorate, businesses located in Bundaberg, Childers, Hervey Bay and surrounding areas would be eligible to apply for funding.
2. $500,000 for Bundaberg Netball towards the Bundaberg Super Park
Mr Pitt announced a re-elected Coalition government would invest $500,000 for Bundaberg Super Park to add to its facilities.
"This funding will allow the association to add another four courts, shaded grandstands, plus shade structures around the barbecue area to provide cover in bad weather," he said in June.
3. $900,000 for a commercial laundry as an IMPACT Community Services project
Mr Pitt promised people with a disability or mental illness would be big winners from a re-elected Coalition government, investing $900,000 for the construction of a commercial laundry to create real jobs and support a host of local businesses.
He said the IMPACT Community Services project would boost jobs in Bundaberg as well as provide new services to avoid laundry having to be sent out of town.
4. $60 million to extend the Mobile Black Spot Program
Areas in Hinkler were promised improved mobile phone coverage if the Coalition was re-elected.
New mobile base stations in Redridge and Pacific Haven were promised to bring a much-needed boost to mobile coverage.
5. $12,500 to provide lighting for Jack Norgate Oval at Burnett Heads
In June Mr Pitt committed $12,500 to provide lighting for Jack Norgate Oval at Burnett Heads if re-elected.
"Lighting at the oval will increase recreation opportunities and will also greatly benefit local clubs and community groups," he said.
6. $300,000 for a hydrotherapy pool to be built in Childers
Used for rehabilitation for the elderly and also those with a disability and injured patients, Childers residents have campaigned for a hydrotherapy pool for years.
"Not only would a hydrotherapy pool be a great asset to the community, it would mean patients would no longer have to travel to Bundaberg for treatment," Mr Pitt said when he made the promise in June.
7. $5 million to ensure Stage Two of the Bundaberg Multiplex
A re-elected Turnbull-Joyce government promised to invest $5 million to ensure Stage Two of the Bundaberg Multiplex Project came to fruition.
"Once completed, Stage Two of the Multiplex project will provide the facilities necessary to attract business conferences, community events and major sporting competitions to the region," Mr Pitt said in June.
8. $1.4 million to extend Kay McDuff Dr
A re-elected Coalition government promised $1.4 million to support the extension of Kay McDuff Dr to the Bundaberg Ring Rd.
Mr Pitt said the project would provide ease of access for 25m B-Doubles from the industrial area of Bundaberg to the freight network.
9. $200,000 Burrum Bridge feasibility study
Mr Pitt said the project had the potential to provide a new coastal link from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg and attract more visitors to the communities of Toogoom, Burrum Heads, Buxton and Woodgate.
The study would investigate the cost of the bridge, which has the potential to reduce travelling time between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.
10. Strengthen existing workplace laws
Mr Pitt said that the Coalition's focus on jobs and growth would be complemented by increased safeguards for vulnerable workers who have been let down in recent times as a result of blatant non-compliance with workplace laws by employers across a number of industries and in many cases, multinational corporations who ignore their obligations under Australian laws.
Mr Pitt said he was committed to delivering each and every one of the projects, just as he delivered each of the 2013 election commitments he made.
"These projects will provide local jobs as well as stimulate and sustain economic growth in this region," he said.
"All of the commitments are fully funded and will be delivered as soon as practicably possible."
We also asked Mr Pitt about his stance in relation to the Backpacker tax.
"The Coalition government will do what we said we would, which is review the tax measure, as part of a broad review of the workforce shortages faced by the agriculture and tourism industries," he said.
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