2016 HAS HAD A VERY BUSY START AND FEW CAN BELIEVE WE ARE ALREADY INTO FEBRUARY.
The Gladstone Region has slowed a little from the heady period of rapid development experienced in recent years but we will continue to forge ahead, perhaps at a more moderate pace, and there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the year ahead. We have some exciting projects that will change the face of some of our outlying areas; one of these is the redeveloped Alf Larson/Lions Park at Miriam Vale. We have commenced work on modern recreational facilities, an exciting playground, designated rest stops and parking for travellers, all set within beautiful landscaping and walkways.
A welcome addition to the sporting facilities for the Gladstone Region was the opening of the Liz Cunningham Park, a new home for cricket and junior football (soccer). The naming of this new park is well deserved recognition for Liz Cunningham and shows the appreciation of the community for her many years of dedicated, hard work for the area.
Whilst not date has yet been given, it is expected that the Gladstone Region will soon have a greater choice when going shopping as work is expected to start on the $160 million Stockland Gladstone redevelopment. Last week I also had the opportunity to speak with an Aldi representative and he has told me that he expects the Gladstone Aldi store to be open for Christmas trading.
And there will be more changes to come for Gladstone City via Council’s Jump Start our City Heart initiative and we are seeing residents’ input into Council’s vision to create a vibrant, revitalised city centre where the community and business thrive. We need everyone to share their vision on how they would like to live, work and play in the city CBD.
Many residents ask me “what is our next big industry?” I believe that it will be in the areas of retail, hospitality and health. There will be over 400 jobs available in the retail sector with the anticipated new shopping experiences. We will also see extra jobs in the hospitality area; our region has the population to support more restaurants, coffee shops and cafes.
The Integrated Community Services Precinct at Phillip Street will foster more positions in Allied Health. All of this combined with our LNG industry moving into operational phase which will see many positions created to service the LNG industry. The GSDA (Gladstone State Development Area) to the north of Gladstone will be the home of new industry. Some of these industries are new opportunities and I have visitors from overseas talking about processes we have not seen before. Our future is indeed sound!
Last week we had the attention of all of Queensland as Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk and her ministers came to the Gladstone Region for a Community Cabinet Meeting. I was most appreciative of the time the Premier and her Ministers gave to our residents; they certainly spent a large amount of time discussing matters with the locals.
The visit also proved memorable because of the welcome announcements the State Government delivered while its ministers were here. One announcement was dear to the heart of all Gladstone Region Residents and that was the $42 million for the Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department, a project which has been needed for many years and we hope it will mean the start of the complete refurbishment of the Gladstone Hospital. TheCalliope community was delighted to hear the announcement of $60million for the establishment of a Calliope high school. Very welcome as well was the $3.7 million for the Gladstone Women’s Health Centre which is a 5 year funding package to deliver services to combat Domestic Violence.
Our council was pleased to receive $3.3 million Betterment Funding to repair roads damaged by ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia. With the welcome rain received last week across the state we should see the benefit of this type of funding, it is provided to, not just repair but to improve the road or culvert. Thus when flooding occurs in the future, the road will be brought back into service more quickly.
For many years, I have had cause to bemoan the fact that we had not received our share of State and Federal government funds, but this visit was a different story and I must thank Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher for helping deliver $109 million to the Gladstone Region.
Together we are building a unified, well connected region.
OTHER GRC PROJECTS:
• Builyan Playground
• Flat Rock Picnic Ground Concept Plan
• Turkey Beach Community Hall
• Workman’s Beach Camp Ground
• Many Peaks Dam area improvements
• Bororen Sports Ground Playground