Common sense has prevailed on the location for the headquarters of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), with the Federal LNP Government announcing the $5 billion facility would be based in Cairns.
Shadow Minister for Northern Development and Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps said his and the LNP’s intervention ensured the NAIF was established in North Queensland rather than Sydney or Brisbane.
“We caught the Palaszczuk Labor Government absurdly advocating for the NAIF to be headquartered in Brisbane, which was a huge slap in the face for North Queensland,” Mr Cripps said.
“The LNP called them out and we secured a unanimous endorsement by the Queensland Parliament for the HQ location to be in North Queensland.
“This announcement by the Federal LNP Government is a win for North Queensland.
“This is all despite the south-east centric Palaszczuk Labor Government trying to steal away an important opportunity for the north to build its financial and administrative capacity.”
Mr Cripps repeated his calls for Coralee O’Rourke to resign immediately, or be removed by Premier Palaszczuk in light of her lacklustre advocacy for North Queensland.
“North Queensland deserves a strong voice at Labor’s Brisbane-centric Cabinet table and there are certainly better options for the region, like Townsville MP Scott Stewart,” he said.
“Labor’s absent Minister for North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke has claimed the government had been lobbying the Federal Government to locate the NAIF in North Queensland – this is a blatant untruth.
“Minister O’Rourke stood behind Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in calling on the Federal Government to base the NAIF in Brisbane, I exposed Labor’s duplicity and the motion by the LNP Opposition shamed them into a backflip.
“Coralee O’Rourke has been an unmitigated failure as the voice of North Queensland and it’s time the Premier moved to appoint somebody who is up to the job.
“This is the latest example of Labor’s neglect of North Queensland and the Palaszczuk Government’s snub of the region in the State Infrastructure Plan adds insult to injury.
“Minister O’Rourke is missing in action and holding North Queensland back.”