In Regional

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for State Development Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for Infrastructure Jeff Seeney

Queensland Minister for Planning Jeff Seeney

New Vision For Mary Valley’s Future

Victor P Taffa

The Newman Government has unveiled a ‘blueprint’ to reinvigorate the Mary Valley, based on maximising economic development opportunities rather than just selling off property.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the release of the Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy marked the start of a new future for the Mary Valley.

“There is a lot of work to be done to fix the financial bungling and huge land buy-up by the previous government.” Mr. Seeney said.

The strategy aims to create conditions to enable private sector investment and development.

Properties will be aggregated and water rights realigned to create economically viable land units under an initial two-year divestment program.

Mr. Seeney said expressions of interest will be sought from investors and matched to land and water parcels.

“Labor’s Traveston Dam debacle cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, displaced scores of families and left the government owning almost 500 properties.” Mr. Seeney said.

“Front and centre of our new plan is a resolve to drive the area’s economic development, create new jobs, support productive enterprises and create vibrant and stable communities.”

“The initial phase will see agricultural and other economic land units brought to market to encourage activities such as beef production, horticulture, dairy and tourism enterprises.”

“Alongside this work, the State will offer assistance and support to ensure this happens quickly.”

The assistance would include: Aggregation of properties based on their suitability for economic activity and realignment of water entitlements to support new enterprises, briefings to financial institutions and valuers to ensure funding risks to buyers were minimised and an integrated approach to planning.

Mr. Seeney said the Government would work with agricultural peak bodies and provide access to government resources to support the new strategy.

“To drive this program, I have appointed the Member for Gympie David Gibson to establish and chair the Mary Valley Economic Development Advisory Group.”

“This group will engage with the community and harness local knowledge to assist the implementation of the strategy and to monitor new initiatives.”

Mr. Seeney said there’d be an initial two-year divestment program focussing on properties suitable for economic development.

He said there would also be better management of leasehold properties and leases would not be renewed on their expiry.

“The State faces some serious financial challenges in the years to come.” Mr. Seeney said.

“The Newman Government was elected with an overwhelming mandate to reduce ballooning debt and manage the public purse responsibly.”

“This means ensuring value-for-money to taxpayers, taking financially prudent steps and removing liabilities from the balance sheet where it is sensible to do so.” Mr. Seeney said.

“We do not have an endless bucket of cash to tip in, but we can prioritise activities and ensure we take action to support the establishment of productive industries and agricultural activities in this important ‘food bowl’ region.”

“The Government is committed to ensuring the people of the Mary Valley can have confidence going forward, and have a real stake in their future.” Mr. Seeney said.

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