The decision by Burnie City Council to remain within the Cradle Coast Authority is welcome and should ultimately lead to long term benefits not only for the people of Burnie but the region as a whole.
Whilst I can’t speak on behalf of the Government, when it comes to assessing projects from the Federal Opposition viewpoint, proposals on behalf of regions carry strong weighting. A voice advocating of behalf of nine local councils is much more likely to be heard than a single one.
This is where I see Cradle Coast Authority continuing to continue to play an effective role as a voice on issues that bring greater social and economic benefit to our region.
In recent years the Cradle Coast Authority has led the way with submissions to both the Government and Opposition on the Cradle Mountain Masterplan and network of shared coastal pathways stretching from Latrobe to Wynyard. Both projects were identified as being the top two regional priorities by the Cradle Coast Authority.
Deloitte Access Economics research forecasts the Cradle Mountain redevelopment would have an economic impact to this region of up to $29 million per year, creating almost 150 full-time jobs in construction and more than 110 full-time jobs in operation.
When completed the network of shared coastal pathways will contribute $17 million through increased direct and indirect expenditure, translating to 97 full time jobs. The significant social benefits through this project are difficult to quantify but one only has to look at the successful Ulverstone to Turners Beach pathway as an example of connecting communities and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.
Both projects have received bipartisan support. Federal Labor and the Coalition have both committed $30 million towards the Cradle Mountain Masterplan. Federal Labor has also committed $8.8 million to complete the network of shared coastal pathways. It is worth noting Labor’s commitment is an additional $4 million over and above what the Coalition is providing. This is because Labor’s funding allows for the completion of the missing link in the coastal pathways project between Heybridge and Wivenhoe, which falls within the Burnie municipality.
These projects are a clear demonstration of the successful advocacy of the Cradle Coast Authority. It is absolutely understandable that member councils want value for money through their membership and debate over the Authority’s makeup is healthy. However through these debates we must not lose sight of the bigger picture.