The Fraser Coast mayor highlights some key elements that will be worked on

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THE Mary River needs to be “brought back” and in 2013 the Mayor is determined to “enhance this great natural asset”.

“I said I’d enhance Hervey Bay’s Esplanade and I did,” Mayor Gerard O’Connell said.

“We still have a bit of work to do along there with walkways and viewing stations.

“Meanwhile, I’m intent on bringing back the Mary River through mangrove management and supporting local clubs to take more sporting activities onto this great river.

“Let’s see the boats come back and tie up at the wharf and people getting out on the river and having fun like we did in past years.”
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Cr O’Connell said 2013 looms as a year of enormous potential for the Fraser Coast.

“We have already started playing host to thousands with the scout jamboree this week and we’ll be doing that with the Ulysses AGM, the Surf Nippers carnival and the State Touch carnival.

“Thousands and thousands of people are coming to the Fraser Coast this year.”

The mayor indicated that, in the longer term, aviation and the marine sector industry may by key to the region’s prosperity.

“Just in the last fortnight people with significant investment ability have been asking about our Avion airport precinct and the marine industry precinct in Maryborough.

“We’ve also pushed preliminary approval through for the master planned Airside development at Hervey Bay Airport.”

The mayor’s philosophical priority might prove a thornier problem to progress than seducing investors to invest in the region.

Cr O’Connell wants Fraser Coasters to think and act in unity, rather than foster the “them-and-us” mentality that continues to create barriers between Hervey Bay and Maryborough and some of the 17 villages.

“We must have unity of purpose and work and speak as a region.”

He said he favours neither Maryborough nor Hervey Bay but just wants to see the cities complement each other.

“I’m not going to get into tit for tat on comments I am leaving one city or the other behind, I am not.”

“Big ticket” items like Warren Persall’s $6 million investment into rebuilding the Beach House Hotel complex, the Stockland extension and Station Square’s expansion get him excited.

“In a couple of weeks we’ll be turning the sod at the new St Stephen’s and that project is going to bring up to 3000 Coast jobs.”

With no “disrespect to anyone” Cr O’Connell says the feedback on him and his new councillors is “nothing short of phenomenal”.
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Sourced from the local chronicle newspaper & published by Henry Sapiecha