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Budget lacks inspiration for region

Jun 22, 2022

Budget lacks inspiration for region

Jun 22, 2022

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said yesterday’s budget was largely uninspiring with a few bright points.

Mr Knuth said that revenue generating, and job creation projects were sadly lacking while the governments saving grace was $7.3 billion in coal royalties which was now being used to plug holes in the failing health system.

“This government and the budget lack foresight and vision,” said Mr Knuth.

“They are quite happy to take the royalties generated by coal, then talk about the phasing out of base load coal generation and replacing them with renewables which cannot meet current and future energy demands.

“The fact is global demand and price for coal is sky high and the Government have benefitted from this through sheer luck, not good planning.

“We desperately need an energy reserve policy to ensure that consumers and local businesses can keep the cost of living down, provide employment and continue to operate in a tough environment.”

Mr Knuth said the Government were trumpeting a record expenditure in health, yet he couldn’t see anything that would stop the decline in basic health services in regional Queensland.

“We are losing doctors, nurses, medical surgeons and specialists as we are seeing hospitals are cancelling and delaying surgeries, continuously,” he said.

“The expenditure is like trying to plug a hole in a leaking dam that keeps getting worse.”

Mr Knuth said there was some bright points in the 2022-2033 budget with close to $50million on roads, $2.5million to councils as part of the successful Works for Queensland program and $14million to education in his electorate.

“Everywhere I travel in my electorate there are roadworks going on which is a positive outcome,” he said.

“There were projections of $5M to be spent next year on overtaking lanes on the Kennedy Highway between Mareeba and Ravenshoe and $680,000 for the Kennedy Highway and Grove Street, Atherton intersection.

“I was also really pleased to see funding towards Goondi State School for installation of electronic security after a number of break-ins.”

The budget also included an increase in the base minimum operational funding for Government funded Neighbourhood and Community Centres across the state, something the Hill MP had campaigned heavily for.

“I met with and discussed this with the Minister as these valuable centres were on the brink of closing,” Mr Knuth said.

“I have five centres in my electorate and every one of them have now received the news that they will receive close to double the funding for next year, which gives them security to be able to continue to deliver their valuable services.

“This is the type of expenditure that really makes a difference and impacts positively of regional communities, and I thank the Minister for listening to and acting on concerns about their long-term future.”

Mr Knuth said there was a number of projects he would continue to advocate for funding for in his electorate such as the Kurrimine Beach Boat Ramp, funding for the Innisfail / Silkwood /Japoonvale Road, upgrade to carparking at Castor Park in Innisfail, the North Johnstone Transfer, the Herberton Historic Railway project and a fast-tracked inland highway.

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