WHEN is the Fraser Coast going to get out of the shadows of the Wide Bay and really form its own identity as a region, like the Sunshine Coast?
The Wide Bay as an entity disadvantages the Fraser Coast. We are always treated as the poor cousins when it comes to funding from government departments, and we are not seen as the major growth area even though Hervey Bay will be the biggest city in the Wide Bay.
It’s time we start trading on the “Fraser Coast” entity that lines up with our council boundaries and fight for infrastructure for the Fraser Coast. The recent Wide Bay Plan by the State Government was a disgrace. It was Bundaberg-centric and completely overlooked the Fraser Coast for key infrastructure. Even when industry and Council complained about this, it fell on deaf ears in State Government.
We have a Wide Bay Health Board, again Bundaberg-centric and focusing on future hospitals up there even though we have an aging population and faster growth rates here. We should have a Fraser Coast Health Board.
Our Federal Members are based in Bundaberg and Maryborough and are conflicted representing four major cities of which two sit outside the Fraser Coast. Why don’t we have one Federal Member for the Fraser Coast?
The Main Roads Department sits in Bundaberg and has done the planning for that area but is years behind on road infrastructure on the Fraser Coast. The list goes on of key government departments that sit outside the Fraser Coast but are supposed to be representing our interests.
The Fraser Coast, and in particular Hervey Bay, will be the major city in the Wide Bay over the next 20 years. We need Fraser Coast representation, and we need to promote our area as a destination like our tourism does.