June 14, 2017
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett says his electorate has not received one new funding project in the State Budget.
He said Gympie’s share of the multi-billion Budget was re-badging, re-announcements, and re-cycling of previous commitments.
“It is clear that the Palaszczuk Labor Government is all about paying lip service to investing in the regions and incapable of addressing serious issues of stalled growth and unemployment,” Mr Perrett said.
“I am extremely disappointed that the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad did not instruct the Premier and Treasurer to use the opportunity to invest in valuable long-term local infrastructure and chose instead to make announcements about works that have been ongoing for a number of years.
“Out of 40 projects identified for the Wide Bay all we have is a rewrite and a swindle.
“The $40 million commitment to construct a four-lane realignment of the Bruce Highway upgrade from Traveston to Keefton Road is not new.
“It is the final amount required for a project which is 80 per cent funded by the Federal Government and the documents are cleverly worded to make it appear the Federal Government’s contribution is from the State.
“The central plank of the Budget is about saving the Deputy Premier’s inner city seat of wealthy unproductive greenie zealots at the expense of regions such as Gympie.
“The government is expecting Gympie to cover the cost for the highly controversial Cross River Rail project in the State Labor Budget.
“The Labor Government’s talk about jobs for the regions and support of regional infrastructure is just hot air.
“We are being expected to play second, third and fourth fiddle to saving the seat of the Deputy Premier.
“There is virtually no support for the 4298 small businesses in this region which are at the heart of the local economy.
“Imagine what Gympie could have done with a fraction of the $2.9 billion money which will be thrown away on the shiny project which has a business case in an utter mess (and) hasn’t been released for public scrutiny.”
Mr Perrett said the list of missed projects was long.
“The government continues to refuse to provide a specific commitment for the upgrade of the intersection of Wide Bay and Bruce Highways at Bells Bridge.
“Last month the Federal Government committed $11.2 million to the project which means that the State Government should commit $2.8 million of the estimated total cost of $14 million.
“This project will now have to compete with every other road infrastructure project in the Wide Bay region for funding.”