The first LNP State Budget has today officially wiped Cairns off the funding map with the scrapping of major infrastructure projects and critical underfunding of others.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Member for Cairns Gavin King had now officially lost more than $90 million for the people of Cairns with further implications across Far North Queensland
“Mr King has lost the $57.3 million Cairns Entertainment Precinct and $33 million worth of investment in the Cairns CBD upgrade, with the LNP only allocating $5 million for the CBD upgrade,” Mr Pitt said.
“The people of Cairns should be incredibly disappointed that Mr King has let the LNP Government rip infrastructure investment out of Far North Queensland.
“This will have wide-ranging impact on jobs and industry in the whole Far North region.
“Although the LNP Government has committed to $40 million for the Trinity Inlet dredging project, this is well short of the expected cost of between $80-100 million.
“The LNP is also claiming that 75 per cent of all infrastructure spending will be outside of Brisbane when in reality this is a truly SEQ-centric Budget.
“The truth is that 70 per cent of that funding will be spent within a four hour drive of Brisbane, leaving the Far North out of the equation.
“Additionally the water rebate will be enjoyed only by SEQ residents.
“Of course all of this is on top of the major slash and burn exercise by this LNP Government which has today seen 14,000 public sector workers shows the door, including more than 4100 for the critical Health area – a far cry from the 2750 workers announced just days ago.
“That has enormous, devastating ramifications for all Queensland regions, including the Far North.
“Sacking health and road workers across the state only means a bigger infrastructure spend in the southern regions.”
Mr Pitt said the State Budget had exposed the mean and tricky nature of the LNP Government through its recycling of Labor Government initiatives.
“In particular the $2.5 million for the Water Police catamaran for Cairns, $1.2 million Millaa Millaa fire station and $3.3 million for the Mareeba fire station announced as LNP projects were started and initially funded in last year’s budget by the previous Labor government,” he said.
“The $1.25 million for the SES headquarters was also a Labor Government election commitment.
“The $28.3 million to expand and redevelop the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre is a continuation of the previous Labor Government’s investment.
“The investment in Lotus Glen is also the height of hypocrisy by the LNP Government as they have already moth-balled 90 new cells which were completed by the previous Labor Government.”