THE State Government has increased its pledge to fund the 24.7km gas pipeline at the Port of Bundaberg to $19 million.
That was one of the main talking points from yesterday's Community Cabinet at the Bundaberg Civic Centre.
The unplanned announcement came after Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman asked Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk what the situation was for local gas suppliers and industries.
"That pipeline is happening and it is $19 million my government has just signed off on for the region," Ms Palaszczuk told Cr Forman.
The announcement was met with a round of applause from the crowd and no one was happier than Cr Forman.
"I knew that the $11 million was committed and I knew it would cost a little bit more.
"I'm very pleased the State Government has committed to that.
"We are on the cusp of great things in our region and I'm glad the Premier agrees."
The project was initially announced under the former LNP state government in August last year with a budget of $11 million.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said construction would begin next year.
"It means Knauff Plasterboard will employ 55 people on a permanent basis.
"About 200 people will be hired during construction and the pipeline itself will have 45 people employed locally.
"The Port of Bundaberg is set for big things in the future and the gas pipeline is just one of those."
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the announcement was a win for the local economy.
"It means business and industry will be able to access the gas pipeline once it is constructed," she said.
"It will put us on the map in terms of exports."
Other issues relating to Paradise Dam and domestic violence were also raised prior to the one-on-one meetings and tabled for further discussion.
Towards the end of the question and answer session, Amy Cattermole, who said she was against coal seam gas and coal, told the ministers they were all ruining her future.
"Everyone is doing drugs and getting drunk because you are not listening," she said.
"I want to be a future politician and I have you to look up to. That's not very good."
The Premier told Ms Cattermole that she would chat with her afterwards.
Ms Donaldson hailed the Community Cabinet as a resounding success with residents having the opportunity to raise their concerns directly with the politician responsible.
"Sometimes going through the channels, things can get blocked, so this is a great opportunity."
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