Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Neville Answers Our Questions

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Neville Answers Our Questions

Article excerpt

What have you done to enhance the growth and future of the Fraser Coast since the last election?

At the last election, I nominated a range of infrastructure, social, environmental and economic projects for the Fraser Coast and I've pushed them at the highest levels ever since. Improved arterial roads, a new neighbourhood centre, restoration of the Urangan Pier, a civic centre, a cultural and sporting complex at Urangan State High School and a range of social programs were on my ato doa list for Hervey Bay. Some remain a priority, while other new projects have come along in recent times. Announcements of particular election commitments will be made over the next 10 days.

At my invitation, former Prime Minister Rudd and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese both visited the region and were lobbied for funding by myself and project proponents. I have met with ministers and shadow ministers alike on all the matters, and have brought shadow ministers and the leader of the Opposition to Hervey Bay to see them first-hand.

I have spoken out when I've seen things going badly under Labor, and I've argued for better and more long-term solutions to problems such as unemployment and flagrant government waste. One example was Hervey Bay's neglect under Labor's Jobs Fund program a of the 225 projects funded around Australia, only four came into the Bundaberg/Hervey Bay area. In my books, that's nowhere near good enough. Likewise, we need to tackle regional unemployment which is currently at 7.9 per cent a higher than the state average and a full 4.5 per cent higher than at the time of the last election. A good first step is to support small business, which is the lifeblood of the Fraser Coast.

I strongly opposed the Traveston Crossing dam, and I have been outspoken in relation to the closure of fishing grounds off the coast of Fraser Island, knowing the economic impact it will have on the region.

On the environmental front, I delivered more than $3 million which was used to locate and map significant shorebird roosts and breeding sites between Point Vernon and Tannum Sands, and to investigate ways to offset the impact of the Traveston Crossing dam on native wildlife. …

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