The Palaszczuk Labor Government has caved to pressure and now supports the LNP’s position that the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) should be headquartered in North Queensland.
Shadow Minister for Northern Development Andrew Cripps said North Queenslanders would be relieved to know that Labor had acknowledged Premier Palaszczuk had a brain-explosion when she called for the NAIF to be set up in Brisbane.
“We heard a lot of excuses and tall stories during the debate tonight, but Premier Palaszczuk has now fallen into line behind the LNP to support the NAIF being established in North Queensland, where it should be,” Mr Cripps said.
“I’m still shocked and appalled that the Premier’s first instinct, when presented with a perfect opportunity to support North Queensland, was to advocate for Brisbane, which is a sad reflection on the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan said he was disappointed that no Labor MPs north of the Tropic of Capricorn had come out to support their electorates since Premier Palaszczuk backed Brisbane over North Queensland on Saturday.
“Labor MPs from Rockhampton to Cairns have been absolutely silent on this and while they may try to laugh it off as a misunderstanding, North Queenslanders will be wondering if they can trust the Palaszczuk Government,” Mr Costigan said.
Member for Burdekin Dale Last said he was amazed when Katter Party MPs, Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter, failed to turn up for the vote to ensure the Queensland Parliament sent a clear message about this important opportunity for North Queensland.
“I would have been very angry if Labor had voted against the LNPs motion and it failed to pass because the Katter Party couldn’t be bothered turning up to support our efforts to ensure North Queensland gets its fair share,” he said.
Mr Cripps said in contrast to Premier Palaszczuk calling on the Australian Government to base the NAIF in Brisbane, he had written to the Prime Minister seeking a reassurance that it would be based in North Queensland.