Queensland Budget hole – where has the money for Capricornia gone?
Money allocated from the 2017-18 federal budget for infrastructure upgrades in Capricornia is missing from the Queensland budget.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry says that given the imaginary job figures promoted earlier this week, it probably should not come as a surprise.
“The Australian Government is giving Queensland $11.96 million in 2017-18 to upgrade the Capricorn Highway between Gracemere and Rockhampton, but only $5 million of that appears in the budget,” Ms Landry said.
“The Turnbull-Joyce Coalition is also giving Queensland $6 million in 2017-18 as part of a $120 million deal to fund 80% of the Walkerston Bypass. Only $500,000 will be spent by the Palaszczuk Government on this life-saving project.”
This week the failing QLD Labor government announced it would invest $4.32 billion to create work across the state.
“What State Labor failed to explain is that just over $2 billion ($2.086b) of this is coming from the Commonwealth Government –recycled in an attempt to convince Central Queensland they are actually doing something to help job figures ahead of the election,” Ms Landry said.
“My main concern is seeing vital infrastructure upgrades delivered as agreed under the funding provided and getting on with industry projects that create real jobs.
“Given there was $700 million unspent last year for infrastructure, it appears Central Queensland will have to wait a long time to see any real growth under the current state government.”
Ms Landry said that waiting for action will put the final nail in the coffin in a region that desperately needs jobs and needs to retain people.
“Just today we have seen figures showing 3500 people have left Rockhampton alone to seek opportunity elsewhere.
“The Member for Rockhampton and Member for Keppel seem more focused on pointing fingers than trying to keep people here.
“They have snuck in an extra 15,300 new bureaucrats for the South East –around 70% of the imaginary jobs boost – while the rest of Queensland will have to fight for the crumbs.
“Those salaries will be paid for by the revenues earned from regional Queensland royalties.
“Almost 70 percent of funding from the Federal Government for roads in Capricornia has disappeared off the 2017-18 state budget and will probably be reallocated to Brisbane so they can get a nice train to work.
“If that is any indicator, we can only assume the same will happen to any new jobs.”
Meanwhile the Member for Rockhampton says he is fed up with constantly being pushed to support Rookwood Weir, which would create 400 construction jobs and 2100 ongoing jobs.
“Well Minister Byrne, saddle up. We will keep pushing until we stop losing people and jobs to the South East. You’ve had more than 12 months to work on the business case, what’s the hold up?”