Monday, 17 October 2022

Paradise lost … again. Labor Government slashes regional funding

The future of Paradise Dam is in even more doubt following media reports today the Albanese Government will slash funding for regional projects across Australia.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce and State Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett are calling for the Prime Minister to confirm if the $600 million commitment for the dam restoration will be honoured.

“It’s unacceptable that the Prime Minister thinks he can make a promise in regional Queensland and just walk away from it like it doesn’t matter,” Mr Pitt said.

“Clearly the Labor Government doesn’t care about regional Australia, they don’t care about keeping their word and they don’t care about telling the truth.

“Federal Labor committed to restore Paradise Dam in March and they simply can’t walk away from it. We will fight them every step of the way. The people of this region deserve better than what Federal Labor is doing to them.

“The Coalition Government’s commitment for the restoration of Paradise Dam was in the Budget, it was not an election commitment, the money was there.

“This could be fixed really easily – all we need is one member of the Labor Government to say they will meet their commitment to Paradise Dam, or once again, Paradise will be lost.”

Mr Boyce said the Federal Labor Government must honour the almost $1bn of election commitments that were made for the Flynn electorate at the last election including for the rebuild of Paradise Dam.

“For the Federal Labor Government to be even considering not providing the funding to the rebuild of Paradise Dam makes no sense, whatsoever,” he said.

“The Federal Labor Government needs to understand that no water means no food. Water infrastructure is fundamental in the Bundaberg region considering it produces 25% of Australia’s fresh produce.

“Every single dollar committed for Flynn must be in next week’s budget.”

Mr Bennett said the Albanese Government needs to have the decency to step up, honour their promises and give back what was taken from this region.

“How many times can our farmers get kicked in the guts over this? It’s not just farmers, everyone in Bundaberg will be affected by this decision,” Mr Bennett said.

“The State Water Minister had the audacity to call us liars last week for putting this on the agenda, yet here we are with these reports backing up our worst fears.

“Without the commitment from the Albanese Government, the State Government could look to take funding from other projects and it’s the people we represent who will be the losers.

“The bottom line is Paradise Dam must be reinstated, and we need to get on with it.”

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