Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has sold out North Queensland by advocating for the Federal Government’s Northern Australia initiative to be based in Brisbane, the LNP said today.
A furious Shadow Minister for Northern Development, Andrew Cripps, said there was no reason why the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) couldn’t be based in North Queensland.
“Townsville and Cairns are both perfectly capable of hosting the NAIF head office – it’s outrageous the Palaszczuk Labor Government is being so Brisbane-centric” said Mr Cripps.
“Cairns and Townsville have airports and seaports that connect North Queensland to the Asian markets which the Federal Government’s Northern Australia initiative is focused on” he said”.
“What the Palaszczuk Government should be focusing on is putting together a comprehensive plan to encourage investment in North Queensland, to take full advantage of the NAIF”.
“Unfortunately Labor seems focused on restricting agriculture, resources and tourism sector development in North Queensland by overturning the reforms of the former LNP Government”.
Mr Cripps said North Queenslanders would be disappointed that Premier Palaszczuk had failed to back Cairns and Townsville’s opportunity to grow their administrative and financial sector.
“Labor’s Minister for North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, has been frozen for the last year – only travelling to Canberra earlier this month to start lobbying the Federal Government”.
“The reality is Queensland’s plans for the NAIF have been worked up by local councils and regional economic development groups – the Palaszczuk Government has no plans of its own”.
“12 months of economic mismanagement under Labor has resulted in thousands of jobs being lost North Queensland and Central Queensland – the NAIF could help turn this around”.
“North Queensland needs a State Government that will open up economic development opportunities and create new jobs, not kowtow to the union bosses and the extreme greens”.
Mr Cripps said he wanted to see North Queensland secure maximum benefit from the NAIF, but was concerned the Palaszczuk Labor Government didn’t have the capacity to deliver.