Shadow Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government today made further deep and savage cuts to frontline services in its scramble to find savings totalling $5.7 billion to fund its election commitments.
“Frontline services and projects are being sacrificed to cover the budget black hole created wholly and solely by the Newman Government itself,” Mr Pitt said.
“Before the election Campbell Newman and Tim Nicholls said they had identified $5.7 billion in savings to fund its election promises. Today we find out they have identified about 3 per cent of that total.
“It is also worrying that the state’s Treasurer claims $186 million is twice $100 million.”
Mr Pitt said funding cuts for frontline projects or services included:
- Burleigh Heads Police Beat
- Online training for SES volunteers
- Legal Aid records management
- Queensland Police Citizens’ Youth Welfare Association
- Grants to local councils for essential community infrastructure
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
- Queensland Business Commissioner
- Queensland Health grants.
“There is also $1 million cut from Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry base funding projects which supported initiatives of local industry stakeholders and which had economic development and job creation as their focus,” Mr Pitt said.
“This cut is particularly scandalous considering developing agriculture is one of their four pillars.
“All of the cuts outlined by Mr Nicholls will affect frontline services despite the previous promises made by the Newman Government.”
Mr Pitt said Mr Newman and Mr Nicholls also needed to quantify the jobs losses flowing from the cuts.
“We still do not know how many government workers have been, are being or will be sacked and how many of those are frontline staff or staff supporting frontline workers and services,” he said.
Mr Pitt said the Neman Government must stop sending negative signals about Queensland to the investment community.
“In two months Mr Newman has done nothing but slash and burn, blame Labor and repeat claims about the state economy taking a ‘power dive into the abyss’.
“Combined with his ongoing efforts to sack government workers and contract investment in Queensland communities and our state’s future, his ongoing negativity will only harm our state’s prospects and cost even more jobs,” Mr Pitt said.
He said he expected Mr Newman would use tomorrow’s release of the Costello audit and its predictable findings to continue his efforts to talk down the state economy.