Bill plugs $15m car park to Feds as part of beachfront plan

IF THE heart of the Capricorn Coast, at Yeppoon, is to become "the next Noosa", a $15million car park will take that dream to the next level.

That's Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig's line of thought - one he says will not only benefit the Capricorn Coast, but the entire region as well.

In a meeting with Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on Wednesday, the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry pitched a $15million, multi-storey car park - and several other Capricornia infrastructure projects - as the region's key priority, tourism-boosting initiatives.

She timed her discussions with Mr Hockey to coincide with the Federal Government's new, landmark $1billion funding pool, the National Stronger Regions Fund.

The funding pool is designed for regional development projects that spur economic growth and create jobs. It is up to councils, corporate and community groups to apply for the funding, as long as they meet the criteria.

Livingstone Shire Council will submit "stage four" of its Yeppoon beachfront master-plan, for the fund.

It includes a fully-integrated multi-storey car park with arcade and pedestrian links to the foreshore and James St.

The car park in question, providing it ticks the funding boxes, would be built on a block of land behind The Strand Hotel on Anzac Parade.

It was originally designed in 2007 to deliver 480 spaces over six levels.

In pitching this project to Ms Landry, for Mr Hockey to mull over, Cr Ludwig (pictured) said the council's logic was to build the car park to free-up the beachfront and foreshore precinct for development.

New high-rise apartments, a $50million Strand Hotel arcade and accommodation development, an expansion of the existing Keppel Bay Sailing Club and a $20million council and library conference centre were also part of the Yeppoon beachfront master plan. These projects would, however, be developed in time.

"This project (car park) is 'shovel-ready' ... the first two levels should be finished in 15 months," he said.

The other major project Livingstone Council will table for funding, under the Stronger Regions Fund, would be The Causeway Lake restoration. "We have already done our homework and could get under way relatively quickly ... it'd be a major success," Cr Ludwig said.

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