The Palaszczuk Government’s third budget has delivered the Hinchinbrook electorate a cold shoulder, despite Labor’s overheated jobs rhetoric being splashed all over the budget papers.
Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, said the 2017-18 budget papers were the prettiest he had seen, with lots of glossy photos, but the document contained very little for the Hinchinbrook electorate.
Mr Cripps said he had seen eleven budgets handed down, but could not recall one so bereft of new capital investment in the Hinchinbrook electorate as this effort from Treasurer Curtis Pitt.
“For example, there is not a single new capital allocation in the Cassowary Coast Region or Hinchinbrook Shire worthy of inclusion in the Regional Action Plan budget papers” said Mr Cripps.
“The one item in the Hinchinbrook Shire is funding for the Cattle and Frances Creek bridges on the Bruce Highway south of Ingham, but that was announced in last year’s budget” he said.
“That funding isn’t new and 80 per cent of it comes from the Federal Government – apart from that, the Hinchinbrook Shire and the Cassowary Coast Region have been abandoned by Labor”.
“On Townsville’s Northern Beaches, the story is marginally better, with a new $7.5 million project to upgrade and widen the Bruce Highway between Deep Creek and Bluewater Creek”.
“Once again, the reality is 80 per cent of those funds come from the Federal Government and there are no other road projects listed in the capital statement for the Hinchinbrook electorate”.
Mr Cripps said funds to finalise the construction of a new state school at Burdell were confirmed in the budget, but this allocation was not new and had first appeared in the 2015-16 budget.
“The $1.2 million in the budget to upgrade the multi-purpose hall at Bohlevale State School had already been announced, but it’s not the only thing that is urgently needed at this school”.
“This is a very large school and the traffic management situation is totally unacceptable – the Education Department and the Department of Transport and Main Roads know all about it”.
“I’m also disappointed that Bluewater State School has been overlooked for any capital investment in this budget – it is a growing school with aging infrastructure that needs to be upgraded”.
Mr Cripps said the Palaszczuk Government’s third budget had failed the Hinchinbrook electorate badly, with North Queensland set to lose out to big projects in the south-east corner yet again.