Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says a decision to flood Queensland with casinos shows the Newman Government has no coherent growth strategy for Queensland.
“Relying on hugely volatile facilities such as casinos has more in common with a cargo-cult than sound economic planning,” Mr Pitt said.
“We need to do more than turn the Bruce and Pacific Highways into the Las Vegas strip.
“Why is it that within 18 months of being elected the Newman Government can announce three new casinos but not one single new major public infrastructure project?
“Already all forms of gambling taxes raise almost $1.05 billion a year for state government coffers, or almost 10% of all state taxes.
“The government needs to produce revenue projections for the proposed new casinos and be very clear on whether it intends to end the moratorium on new poker machines and if new casino operators will also be given pokie licences.
“If so, we need to know what impact that will have on the licensed club industry.”
Mr Pitt said the LNP promised at the last election to grow a four-pillar economy including expanding tourism.
“But we now appear to have a separate fifth pillar — expansion of our gaming sector.
“What Queensland needs is a sensible economic development and growth strategy and that is something the Newman Government has not delivered.”
Mr Pitt said any new casino licences needed to be the subject of rigorous community consultation.
“Residents in local communities that may be earmarked for a new casino deserve to have their say on whether they want one in their backyard,” he said.
“The Newman Government has apparently already decided one of the new casinos should be imposed on the historic government precinct in the Brisbane CBD.
“The same precinct has already had the government’s new and unnecessary Executive Building imposed on it without any master planning or consultation.
“This is typical of the knee-jerk and ad-hoc decision-making we have come to expect from the Newman Government,” Mr Pitt said.