The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s version of the LNP’s successful Royalties for Regions initiative has created just 44 jobs in 12 months after spending $30 million of taxpayer’s money.
Shadow Minister for State Development Andrew Cripps said Labor’s Building our Regions program was a very poor and ineffective cousin of the former LNP Government’s initiative.
“As I’ve said before, the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions program is a smaller, shorter and narrower version of the LNP’s Royalties for Regions initiative,” Mr Cripps said.
“News today that Labor will bring forward funding from next financial year looks like a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that so far, Building our Regions hasn’t achieved much.
“Round One of the program has so far created only forty-four jobs across regional Queensland – that’s less than four jobs per month since the Palaszczuk Government came to office.
“No wonder Queensland’s job figures are so bad – with news today Queensland experienced the largest jump in the rate of unemployment of any Australian state last month – up to 6.4 per cent.”
Mr Cripps said Minister Lynham’s press release also revealed the administration of Labor’s program had stalled, with only eleven out of thirty-one Round One project agreements currently in place.
“Bringing forward more funding for Round Two from next financial year won’t do much if Labor can’t even manage the funding and the projects it has already approved in Round One,” he said.
“Under the Palaszczuk Government, employment figures in North and Central Queensland has declined significantly, so it’s vital this program starts performing properly.
“The former LNP Government’s Royalties for Regions initiative was warmly welcomed by the state’s regional communities and was Queensland’s first dedicated regional infrastructure fund.
“In contrast, the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions program is smaller, shorter and narrower, which will provide fewer opportunities for regional communities to secure funding.”
Mr Cripps said despite previously criticising the LNP, Labor had adopted a streamlined application and assessment process similar to that utilised by the Royalties for Regions initiative.