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‘Smoke And Mirrors’ Budget: MP

Filed under Breaking News, Business, Latest News

LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington

June 13, 2018

Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has been describing the State Budget in the metro media as all “smoke and mirrors”, but she says this description applies to the sections applicable to the South Burnett, too.

“Most of the projects are re-announcements. There are no new major projects for the South Burnett in this State Budget,” Mrs Frecklington said.

She said most of the projects had already started, like the Kingaroy Hospital and the Kingaroy State High School multi-purpose hall.

“They reannounced the Kingaroy Hospital, but I was very disappointed they only allocated $20 million which is not just one-third of the build,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“It’s extremely concerning that we might see the project held up with not enough funding allocated this year.”

She was also very disappointed the new hospital had not been included in the “digital” hospital program, and had requested a briefing as to why.

“Common sense would indicate that including digital technologies at the same time as the hospital’s refurbishment would be the way to go, however, once again Kingaroy will miss out,” she said.

Mrs Frecklington said after a lot of pressure from her, the upgrade of the Maidenwell-Bunya Mountains Roads had finally been listed … but for 2021, which is after the next election, and no money had been allocated this time around.

“We are finally seeing a recognition that funding needs to be spent … but this is just too long to wait,” she said.

“There is a small budget for widening and sealing an 800m section of the Byee Road and $6.5 million for the D’Aguilar Highway.

“But, the Burnett Highway has again missed out, with just $200,000 to widen and seal a 700m section somewhere between Goomeri and Gayndah.

“It’s unacceptable that this is all that has been set aside for the Burnett, especially in light of the recent fatalities.”

No money had been allocated, either, for the widening of the dangerous, single-lane section of the Mundubbera-Durong Road.

Mrs Frecklington said she would continue her push for the Yarraman’s Men Shed to take over the former DAF Forestry Shed now that it had been confirmed in the Budget that a new fire station would be built elsewhere in Yarraman.

Originally, this station had been earmarked for the Forestry site – which had blocked the Men’s Shed application to take over the building – but this was no longer the case.

She said the State Government must help fast track the process to help the Men’s Shed – whose members have been meeting for months – to finally find a home.

“The State’s Public Safety Business Agency has confirmed that they have concluded their investigations into where the new station should be located and their results have confirmed they will choose an alternative site to the DAF Forestry Shed,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“After lobbying the State Government on behalf of the Yarraman Men’s Shed, it is good news that they have confirmed they will relinquish any further interest in the Mill Street property.

“However, now that the State Government has confirmed the Fire Station will be purpose-built, the process to hand over the building to the Yarraman Men’s Shed should not be held up any further.

“We’ve just got a vacant shed sitting there.”


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