Media Release – Committee formed to guide govt’s $20m jobs package

Businesses across the Wide Bay Burnett are set to benefit from a $20 million funding boost to create sustainable jobs and improve skills and training.

A nine-person committee consisting of regional business leaders with a diversity of skills have been chosen to lead the Regional Jobs and Investment Package local planning committee which will advise the government on the best way to disperse the funds.

The Local Planning Committees (LPC) will help communities assess their region’s economic opportunities and competitive advantages and develop local investment plans. This will create a community-driven, government investment partnership between the local communities, business and the Australian Government.

The package was a promise of the 2016 election campaign with funding available across three streams:

1. Infrastructure

2. Business Innovation

3. Skills and Training

The committee will be chaired by Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett Chair Bill Trevor who is also Deputy Mayor of Bundaberg Regional Council.

Other members include Ms Leone Aslett, Ms Nancy Bates, Mr Stephen Cooper, Ms Kathy Duff, Mr Eric Law, Mr Kerren Smith, Mr Don Waugh and Mr Glen Winney.

Federal Minister for Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash said the committee members are all leaders in their local communities and have the important responsibility of representing their communities.

“This Local Planning Committee will nominate the sectors of local industry the package will invest in on behalf of local people,” Senator Nash said.

Ten regions across Australia will share in the $220 million package to boost jobs and diversify economies.

Each of the identified regions have been impacted by the slowdown in mining, falling commodity prices and changes to the manufacturing sector however they also have potential for growth.

Committee Chair Bill Trevor said he was honoured to be asked to contribute to this important initiative that can help reduce unemployment across the region.

“Governments are often criticised for making decisions out of Canberra and not fully understanding the unique opportunities and attributes of regional communities. This is a shining example of giving local communities the opportunity to influence how these funds are granted,” Cr Trevor said.

“I am delighted with the diverse business experience and leadership of those selected on the committee who have a strong understanding of the communities they represent and what industries require the hand up to create sustainable employment opportunities.”

Cr Trevor said the package would be minimum matched dollar for dollar which means at least a $40 million injection into the local economy.

Cr Trevor, who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to the community in 2009, has a long association with local government and having served initially as a Councillor with the former Isis Shire Council prior to becoming Mayor in 1993 until amalgamation in 2008.

Coming from a sugar cane farming background, he was founding President of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC), Wide Bay Burnett Area Consultative Committee (ACC) Chair for 14 years and is the current Wide Bay Burnett Chair of Regional Development Australia (RDA). He is also a former director of Isis Central Sugar Mill and former Member of the Bundaberg District Health Council.

For more information please contact Bill Trevor on 0428 988 116.