With double digit unemployment having endured in Townsville for more than 12 months, the Palaszczuk Government’s third budget should be scrutinised for what it really delivers now.

Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has warned Labor’s political spin about what’s in the state budget for Townsville needs to be compared against what’s actually in the capital statement.

Mr Cripps said media releases and media reports about budget allocations needed to take into consideration that most of the promised expenditure would not take place for several years.

“For example, the reported $936 million for health in North Queensland is a far cry from the $29 million* that is actually in the 2017-18 health capital statement for Townsville” said Mr Cripps.

“While a lot of people are excited about the $225 million allocation for Townsville’s Water Security, the Palaszczuk Government only plans to spend $10 million in the next 12 months” he said.

 “That’s about 4 per cent of the total funding and the Water Taskforce has not yet reported, or provided any recommendations about a preferred approach to resolving this critical issue”.

“The North Queensland Stadium is a significant project for Townsville, but after years of talking, only 18.4 per cent ($46 million) is actually budgeted to be spent over the next 12 months”.

“Furthermore, the reported budget allocation to replace the bridges over Cattle and Frances Creek on the Bruce Highway, south of Ingham, was announced last year and isn’t new funding”.

“Indeed, 80 per cent of this funding is provided by the Federal Government and the same goes for the Burdekin River Bridge project on the Bruce Highway between Ayr and Home Hill”.

“We’ve got a serious unemployment problem in Townsville, but most of Labor’s budget items have already been announced, won’t be spent for years, or are significantly funded by someone else”.

“A lot of promises have been made to Townsville and North Queensland in this budget, but it needs to be said that most of the funding has been put off until after the next state election”.

Mr Cripps said the Palaszczuk Government’s Jobs for Queensland rhetoric was plastered all over the 2017-18 budget papers, but for Townsville, the real figures didn’t reflect the political hype.

*$5 million Clinical Services Redevelopment, $1.6 million Relocating Breast Screening Services, $2.6 million Paediatric Unit, $8.5 million Townsville Hospital Expansion, $6.7 million Health Technology Equipment, $4.7 million Minor Projects and Acquisitions.


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