Thursday, 3 December 2020

Queensland State Budget fails to deliver

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the Queensland State Budget has failed to deliver anything substantial for the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions, other than more debt.

“The Queensland State Government was in debt well before COVID and this has only got worse, with borrowings blown out from $4 billion to $28 billion,” he said.

Mr Pitt slammed the Queensland State Labor Government for funding the destruction of water security by allocating $89.6 million in the region to lower the spillway at Paradise Dam, but not one cent to fix the dam or restore it to full capacity.

“It beggars’ belief why the State Government couldn’t use that $89.6 million to repair Paradise Dam, instead of ripping down the dam wall and ripping away water security from the agriculture industry.

“At the very least the State Government should have waited for more testing to be done before starting the work.

“Our agriculture sector is still struggling with no firm commitment from the State Government to fix Paradise Dam.

“It’s laughable that the Queensland Treasurer states the Budget’s single overarching objective is to create more Queensland jobs, when the decision to remove capacity from Paradise Dam is threatening jobs in the agriculture industry.

“Other than token funding for planning or business cases for the Bundaberg Hospital and the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, just how many years will the residents of Bundaberg wait for these services to be delivered?”

Mr Pitt said the State Government’s commitment of $42.5 million for the East Bundaberg Flood Levee was reliant on the Federal Government coming up with the other half.

“All I know about the proposal is what was announced during the State election campaign and what I have read in the media. I have not seen a proposal, however local residents have approached my office with a number of concerns about the proposed levee.

“The flood which devasted Bundaberg was in 2013 and yet, here we are almost at the end of 2020 with no flood mitigation measures in place.”

“After four years of the Palaszczuk Government ignoring this region, we now enter a new chapter of inaction.”

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