While any investment in flood mitigation is welcome such as the funding towards a levee and detention basin at Ramsay Drive, Cairns, it is nothing short of irresponsible to claim this will bring broad cost of living relief through lower insurance premiums, says Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt.
“It was only at the start of this month that the LNP increased insurance tax by $110 per household to raise an additional $990 million. This money has not been reinvested into the flood proofing projects promised by the Newman Government but has rather been used to cover their financial ineptitude with overall taxes increasing by $257 per person.
“The Minister for Local Government has been travelling around Queensland re-announcing money that was already allocated through other programs for Local Governments.
Mr Pitt said the Minister himself has been forced to admit that his $50 million allocation for flood mitigation is not new money.
“At the same time the Minister is continuing to insist that it is “the most ambitious infrastructure plan in a generation” while the overall State infrastructure spend in the Cairns region has been cut by $185.84 million this financial year.
Mr Pitt said the Opposition would welcome any genuine commitment from the Government to tackle flooding problems and continue the efforts started under the previous Labor administration, but so far Minister Crisafulli had committed no additional funding.
“For the Newman Government to imply the previous Bligh Labor Government did not act on flood mitigation is another deception.
“It was the Bligh Government that established the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. Prior to the 2013 disasters the Newman Government nearly wound up the authority by accident and cut staffing and funding”.
“The Newman Government also did not hold a single meeting of the Disaster Recovery Cabinet Committee until after the disaster events of early 2013 and dropped the ball on reconstruction and betterment.
“To then go out and blame the Federal Government for these failings is symptomatic of the point and blame Newman Government”.