Friday, 23 July 2021

Labor Opposition Leader continues to peddle lies to Queenslanders

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has slammed Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese for lying about the possibility of the Cashless Debit Card being extended to include age pensioners – a move that the Coalition Government has repeatedly confirmed will never happen.

Mr Albanese made the unfounded claims in a media interview in Bundaberg today, while in the Hinkler region – although he did not have an answer when the interviewer asked him what he would replace the Cashless Debit Card with.

“It seems Mr Albanese has no hesitation about repeating this outrageous claim, perhaps to distract from his own party’s lack of policy and leadership,” Mr Pitt said.  

“In a media interview in Bundaberg today, each-way Albo says he’ll scrap the Cashless Debit Card, but if communities are asking for it and people want it, then it can be rolled out. When asked what he’d replace it with, he didn’t have an answer.

“He claimed to be concerned the Cashless Debit Card will be extended to age pensioners and others. This same scare campaign is being run by a number of Labor MPs and I’m calling it out for what it is: a lie.

“Minister Ruston told the Senate recently ‘the Government has no plan to force age pensioners onto the Cashless Debit Card and we will never have such a plan’ yet Labor are continuing this lie and unnecessarily worrying older Australians.

“I’ve never claimed the Cashless Debit Card was a silver bullet solution to the challenges we have, however its strongly supported by the community and it makes a difference across our region.”

The Labor Opposition Leader also stated he was supportive of Paradise Dam being fixed and it should be fixed as soon as possible – however his State Labor colleagues are yet to take any action despite the pleas of desperate growers.

“It’s fantastic news that the Federal Labor Party are committed to Paradise Dam being fixed and would like to see the process sped up. I hope Albo picks up the phone and relays this commitment to the Premier and Minister Butcher,” Mr Pitt said.

“The growers in this region cannot wait until 2026 to have Paradise Dam returned to full capacity. It’s coming up almost two years since the Queensland State Labor Government made the decision to release 100,000 megalitres of water from the dam, in the middle of a drought, to lower the height of the dam wall.

“Two years with no certainty of water security and still no decision on what the State Government will do until the end of this year. It’s just not good enough.”

Mr Pitt said the Coalition Government has committed $10 billion to the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program to deliver priority upgrades along the route.

“Since 2013 there has been more than $153 million committed to upgrades in the 89 kilometre stretch of the Bruce Highway in the Hinkler electorate alone, and many more upgrades have happened both north and south.”

Mr Pitt said while the Leader of the Opposition was visiting Wellcamp earlier this week, he should have made time to visit the New Acland mine and explain why the Labor Government is still against backing coal jobs.

“He should have spent his time here engaging with the Queensland Labor Government and demanding the approval of stage three and supported the retention of hundreds of jobs for regional Queenslanders.

“At Callide Power Station, the Leader of the Opposition must have forgotten it runs on thermal coal, which his party is trying to eliminate from Australia’s energy mix.

“Queenslanders deserve to be told the truth about how Labor Governments don’t support the resources sector and will do everything they can to destroy coal jobs for regional Queenslanders.”

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