Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the LNP Government must explain why they’ve cut $185 million in capital investment out of the Far North Queensland economy in today’s Budget.
The Budget Papers show the capital works budget dropping from $1.07 billion to $884 million.
“At a time when unemployment is high and economic activity is stagnant, Campbell Newman comes along and rips $185 million out of the Far North’s capital works Budget,” Mr Pitt said.
“Our regional economy needs more investment and more jobs, not Mr Newman’s lower investment and less jobs.
“Many of the projects highlighted are a continuation of previously announced funding – many commenced under the previous Labor Government.”
“This is another example of how little influence Gavin King and the other LNP MPs have over their bosses in Brisbane.
“This is less a case of what’s in the budget but rather about what isn’t in the budget. There’s no return of the more than $95 million in projects yanked from the region, last year, no rehiring of the more than 230 health workers sacked, nor a return of the funding for a Cairns Special School.
“Queenslanders didn’t elect Campbell Newman to see him cut the guts out of our local economy and they have been betrayed by his broken promises on the cost of living.”
Mr Pitt said while he welcomed the addition of a PET Scanner for Cairns, there was precious little else for the people of the Far North.
“The impacts of the LNP’s new tax hikes in this Budget are particularly concerning for regional Queenslanders,” Mr Pitt said.
“The increase in the rate on insurance duty is nothing short of a tax on hardship and misfortune.
“Insurance premiums have increased by up to 1,000 per cent in parts of North Queensland since Cyclone Yasi hit in 2011 and nearly a third of insurers are failing to provide quotes in the region.
“These tax hikes are hitting hardest those Queenslanders who can least afford it.
“Insurance taxes are up, the fire levy is up, water prices are up, electricity prices are skyrocketing – all after Campbell Newman said he’d reduce the cost of living.
“The Budget Papers show that the average family will pay an extra $1,000 in taxes this year, after previously saying the budget would contain no new taxes.
“Campbell Newman’s broken too many promises and it’s the families of the Far North that are paying the price.”