Friday, 22 July 2022

State Government delays job-creating project for 1,209 days

Local MPs have called out the Queensland State Labor Government for taking 1,209 days to get a 100 percent Federally-funded project finally started.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and State Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett have welcomed construction starting on the multi-use conveyor at the Port of Bundaberg but said it should never have taken so long.

“To think that it took more than three years from the announcement of $10 million in funding to work actually starting is just ridiculous,” Mr Pitt said.

“Despite the Queensland State Labor Government saying it would deliver commitments to the Hinkler Regional Deal it has delayed this project to the point that it has required an additional $7.7 million in Federal Government funding to ensure it went ahead.

“The Port of Bundaberg has the potential to be an economic powerhouse for this region, yet the State Government continue to ignore it and the people of Bundaberg.

“Supporting vital infrastructure like the multi-use conveyor shouldn’t even need a second thought to help this region progress, yet the State Government dragged its heels every step of the way.

“And now the State Government wants to take all the credit for a project it wanted nothing to do with?”

Mr Bennett said the hypocrisy of the State Government would not be forgotten.

“For months we campaigned for the Hinkler Regional Deal, with projects on the table and stakeholders ready to go. State Labor fought the deal on every front, causing costly delays and lessees to walk,” he said.

“So while I welcome the start of construction of the common-use infrastructure, it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

“To now see the Bundaberg MP and Minister take credit for a project they haven’t funded and repeatedly fought, is disheartening.

“The Member for Bundaberg continues to claim it’s being funded by the State Government, but not one cent has been committed.

“I asked the Minister for Transport to explain in a recent Question on Notice.

“Unsurprisingly he couldn’t because the only funding is coming from the Federal Government, Sugar Services Limited and The Gladstone Ports Corporation.

“We’re sick and tired of this State Government taking credit when it suit them and passing the buck when it doesn’t.

“We’re sick of the spin, deceit and hypocrisy. It’s time for some truth.”

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