Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says the first year of the Newman Government has been a year of disappointments and broken promises for Far North Queensland.
“In just 12 months the LNP Government have cut 14,000 government jobs and slashed hundreds of frontline services, none of which was mentioned before the election,” Mr Pitt said.
“In less than a year, the Newman government has slowed economic growth in Queensland, destroyed consumer confidence and increased unemployment to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.
“The LNP’s frontline service and job cuts are hurting Queensland’s economy, as well as regional economies, and directly impacting the state’s unemployment rate which is now at 5.8%, putting the Premier’s promise of a 4% Queensland jobless rate further out of reach.
“This means the Premier now needs to create more than 200 jobs a day to meet his 4% unemployment target,” he said.
Mr Pitt said there was no evidence of any effort by the LNP to create jobs in FNQ.
“In fact the ABS figures released on Thursday show that in the FNQ statistical region the jobless rate for February was 7.9% — a rise from 7.2% in January,” he said.
“The Member for Cairns Gavin King has also failed to stand-up for the people of Cairns officially losing more than $90 million of infrastructure projects for the people of Cairns with further implications across Far North Queensland.
“Mr King 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.
“FNQ has also been short-changed by the LNP’s Royalties for Regions program, with not a single cent coming to our region that has a vibrant resources sector. In fact, councils in the Far North were not even invited to apply,” he said.
Cairns and Far North Queensland have suffered severely during the last year under this LNP Government, including;
- Axing 234 jobs at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service including 41 nurses
- Moving police decision-making away from Cairns to Townsville and cutting valuable expertise in terms of disaster management
- Slashing North Queensland TAFE campuses from 26 to 15
- Closure of elective surgery theatre which performs 1000 surgeries a year at Cairns Base Hospital
Mr Pitt said like the rest of Queensland we have been misled by the LNP on their cost-of living promises, their commitments to cut power bills, water bill and car rego have all been broken.
Mr Pitt said on election night last year the Premier promised to govern with humility, dignity and grace, for all Queenslanders, yet we have seen a sustained attack by the LNP Government on the most vulnerable in our community.
“In the last year, the LNP have embarked on a predictable and blatant ideological attack on workers, the community sector, public healthcare and services right across the state,” he said.
“And they have tried to make all their ideological cuts under the guise of the $2 million secret Costello Commission of Audit.
“Despite the LNP refusing to publicly release the final Costello report we know it recommends mass privatisation and asset sales which means more job losses.
“We know that when it comes to privatisation, the Newman Government has no intention of waiting until the next election. They’ve already sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of building infrastructure.
“They’re already privatising the hospital system – like the privatisation of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the outsourcing of core clinical areas of health care across the hospital system.
“We heard the people clearly at the last election, Queenslanders don’t like the sale of publicly owned assets.
“We know the next election will be a choice between mass privatisation and asset sales from the LNP Government or a Labor alternative that does not support asset sales.
“The LNP debt myth has also been revealed, as the asset sales the LNP have conducted so far have not paid down debt. All they have done is pay for their $4 billion worth of unfunded election commitments,” he said.
Mr Pitt said the LNP in government had developed a reputation for secrecy and have not delivered the openness and accountability they promised at the last election.
“In the first year the LNP Government has lost three Ministers – David Gibson, Bruce Flegg and Ros Bates, three backbenchers have also defected — Alex Douglas, Carl Judge and Ray Hopper — and one Director-General hand-picked by the Premier, Michael Caltabiano, has been sacked for reasons the Premier won’t comment on,” he said.
“Throughout this ongoing saga of disaffection the Premier has failed to show any leadership in dealing with these matters.
“As the LNP tries to ignore these dramas and celebrate their one year anniversary another cloud hangs over their head.
“The Premier again refuses to act to remove the disgraced Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll.
“It is clear the entire LNP backbench has lost faith in Mr Driscoll yet still the Premier sticks his head in the sand and refuses to act.”