Labor candiate’s international airport proposal plucked out of thin air

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said a proposal to build an international airport between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg has been plucked out of thin air by the Labor candidate for Hinkler.

“The Labor party only just announced in the last three weeks that there would be an international airport in Rockhampton and Infrastructure Australia would conduct a feasibility study.

“So either the people of Hinkler, or the people of Capricornia, are being misled or do we really believe that there will be two international airports in Central Queensland if the Labor party wins Government?”

“I think we need to ask some serious questions of the Federal Labor Party – are they truly committed to this as a project or is it just another thought bubble looking to mislead the voters of Hinkler and the voters of Capricornia?”

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said there was no business plan in place for an international airport at Rockhampton and that the first priority was to establish a produce for the region to be able to sell.

“Firstly, Rockhampton already has a part international status because military troops fly in directly from Singapore every year to Rockhampton for defence exercises at Shoalwater Bay.

“In terms of a full blown export hub – our first priority is to expand agriculture to have products to sell. That is why the Coalition has announced that we will contribute $130 million (subject to state environmental approvals) to building Rookwood Weir near Rockhampton.

“My concern is that you just can’t make something an international airport and expect that tourism and agriculture is just going to turn up and use it,” Ms Landry said.

“I would question if Labor has done any real homework on what it takes to get an export hub up and running.”

Mr Pitt said we do need to plan, in detail, how it is that we’ll provide the infrastructure that Australia needs.

“Inventing things with no business case, no review and no feasibility study, is how the Labor party destroyed the nation’s finances when last in government.”

“It just demonstrates the Labor party’s absolute, not only lack of conviction, but their absolute lack of respect for taxpayer’s money.

“The taxpayer is the one that will be paying for this, unless of course the Labor candidate for Hinkler is suggesting that it would be paid for by ratepayers given his statement some two weeks ago that he wanted to have both the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg Regional Council Airports sold and privatised.”

Mr Pitt said he will continue to work with his colleagues at local government and state government level in the best interests of the people of Hinkler.

“But we will certainly not be budgeting major pieces of infrastructure on the back of a drink coaster, we need to determine exactly what is required for the future infrastructure needs of our region and that is not determined by putting projects on Bill Shorten’s Spend-o-meter. Eventually someone has to pay the bill.”

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