- After 16 months of procrastination, Labor minister announces her plan for NQ – she’s going to leave it to the feds
- Four key planks of Labor’s NQ plan depend on Federal Government funding
- Final priority in plan to be fulfilled by other Ministers.
After nearly 16 months of roundtables, forums, a summit and delegations, the Queensland Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, has finally announced her plan for North Queensland’s economy – she’s going to leave it to the Federal Government.
Northern Development Shadow Minister, Andrew Cripps, said he was staggered to learn the Palaszczuk Government’s so-called Advancing North Queensland plan, announced by Minister O’Rourke, effectively outsourced the region’s future to the Commonwealth Government.
“In four of the five priority areas in Labor’s plan, primary responsibility for progressing projects, the required funding, or both, is proposed to rest mainly with the Federal Government – a genuinely appalling effort from Minister O’Rourke after seemingly endless talks,” said Mr Cripps.
“Coralee O’Rourke, who has previously admitted her North Queensland portfolio makes her responsible for nothing and no-one, has released a plan for North Queensland’s future which relies on the Commonwealth to do most of the work – it’s an absolute disgrace.”
Mr Cripps said four of the Palaszczuk Government’s so-called priority areas in the plan, all depend on dedicated Federal Government programs to develop Northern Australia including:
- Roads Infrastructure – depending on the Federal LNP Government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program and the $100 million Beef Roads Program.
- Water Security – depending on the Federal LNP Government’s $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
- Research and innovation – depending on the Northern Australia Cooperative Research Centre established by the Federal LNP Government.
- North Queensland Stadium – depending on the Federal LNP Government to provide funding for the Townsville stadium and entertainment centre and urban renewal project.
Mr Cripps said Minister O’Rourke would not even take responsibility for the sole remaining priority that wasn’t dependent on Commonwealth Government funding, preferring to leave it to government agencies, such as Trade and Investment Queensland and Tourism Queensland.
“Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is responsible for the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy and Tourism Minister Kate Jones is responsible for the Advancing Queensland Tourism Strategy – that leaves Coralee O’Rourke with nothing to do as part her own North Queensland plan”.
“North Queensland communities and industries deserve better than this mediocre, underwhelming effort from a Minister who refuses to take any responsibility for boosting the economy, creating jobs, or securing the future of North Queensland.”