- Regional business groups urge Palaszczuk Labor to implement Royalties for Regions fund
- Advance Cairns, Townsville Enterprise and Capricorn Enterprise want percentage of royalties spent in regional Qld
- Labor’s regional infrastructure program $300m less than LNP’s Royalties for the Regions program.
The LNP Opposition said calls by central and north Queensland economic development organisations for increased funding were a sign of growing frustration with the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
Shadow Minister for State and Northern Development, Andrew Cripps, said a joint letter from Advance Cairns, Townsville Enterprise and Capricorn Enterprise urging Labor to increase royalties funding to the regions reflected a lack of confidence in the Palaszczuk Government.
“What we are seeing here is regional economic development groups demonstrating a lack of faith in Labor’s policies and plans to grow the economy, create jobs and deliver projects in the regions – and is further evidence Labor is holding the regions back,” said Mr Cripps.
“Capricorn Enterprise, Townsville Enterprise and Advance Cairns now realise the Palaszczuk Government does not have the same commitment to funding or development in the regions as the former LNP Government.”
“Labor has slashed funding for regional economic development projects by replacing the LNP’s highly successful and flagship Royalties for Regions initiative with its smaller, shorter and narrower Building our Regions program.
“In government, the LNP delivered almost $500 million for projects across regional and re-committed to another $500 million through Royalties for Regions, but this was slashed by $300 million by the Palaszczuk Government.
“Labor’s Building our Regions program has less funding, supports a narrower range of projects and runs over a shorter timeframe, underlining Labor’s lack of long-term commitment to regional projects,’ he said.
Mr Cripps said Advance Cairns, Townsville Enterprise and Capricorn Enterprise had made a claim for a significant increase in funding based on a percentage of royalties from the resources sector, but warned royalty revenues were unpredictable and moved with the fortunes of industry.
“These regional economic development organisations need to call out the Palaszczuk Government for its anti-development policies which are harming our resources, agriculture and tourism sectors and are holding our regional communities back. Labor’s policies are costing investment opportunities and costing jobs.”
- The LNP’s Royalties for the Regions program injected $500 million over three years into the development of community infrastructure in Queensland regions.
- Labor’s Building our Regions program allocated just $200 million over two years, less than half the total funding offered by the LNP.
- Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton economic development representatives seeking meeting with Premier later this month (refer media release issued Sat 26 March).