BUDGET TRICKERY AT PLAY, BUT SOME LOCAL BUSH WINS
BUDGET TRICKERY AT PLAY, BUT SOME LOCAL BUSH WINS
Smoke and mirrors have been used to hide the lack of critical services funding and visionary nation-building infrastructure in the 2021-22 Queensland Budget, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said the Government had spent significantly on education ($18.3 billion), social housing ($1.9 billion) and cost of living concessions for low-income households ($6.1 billion) but had failed to deliver a Budget that would ignite the regions to steer the state through its COVID-19 recovery.
He said it was telling that at least 10 per cent of the State’s total capital infrastructure spending in 2021-22 was going towards the Cross River Rail project, which would receive $1.5 billion.
“My first impression of the Budget when it was handed down yesterday was that there was a lot of smoke and mirrors and after dissecting it a bit more overnight, that view has not changed,” Mr Katter said.
“For example, Labor has been misleading the public with suggestions it was delivering more than 60 per cent of its capital spend to the regions, with the real figure sits at 40 per cent.”
Yesterday’s Budget revealed the State had planned a capital spend of $5.9 billion planned outside of the south-east corner in true “regional Queensland” (Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Outback Queensland, Central Queensland, Darling Downs and Wide Bay), while Brisbane and surrounds will receive $8.8 billion.
The state’s total capital spend for 2021-22 is $14.7 billion.
Mr Katter said it was also clear that mining royalties would continue to prop up the state over the next four years, with economic forecasting showing coal royalties would grow by 70 per cent from the downturn of last year, up to almost $3 billion in 2024-25.
Locally, he said he was extremely disappointed key health concerns in Traeger – such as the need for a $10 million renal unit in Mount Isa and new x-ray and CT scanning facilities in Charters Towers – remained unfunded.
However there were some sugar hits for the Traeger electorate, namely in the areas of education, roads and social infrastructure. This includes:
- Barkly Highway State School – $400,000 to install a lift to Block D including an access path
- Camooweal State School – $500,000 to refurbish Block B, Level 1
- Cloncurry State School P-12 – $1 million to Refurbish Block B and build four learning spaces and upgrade skills development and training facilities
- Greenvale State School – $170,000 out of $200,000 to refurbish learning spaces in Block B
- Happy Valley State School – $500,000 for acoustic improvements to classrooms
- Hughenden State School – $150,000 out of $200,000 to refurbish learning spaces in Block C
- Mornington Island State School – $280,000 out of $300,000 to refurbish the Administration Building
- Mount Isa Central State School – $358,000 to build a school security fence
- Richmond Hill State School – $400,000 to refurbish Block B’s Level 1- 4 learning spaces
- Spinifex State College Junior Campus – $400,000 to refurbish Block R amenities
- Spinifex State College Senior Campus – $1.72 million to undertake amenities upgrades and install a school security fence on campus and complete amenities upgrades and refurbish A wing in the residential facilities
- Sunset State School – $1 million for amenities upgrades
- $2.37 million for minor and major maintenance works across 37 schools in the electorate.
INDUSTRY AND TECH
- Kidston Hydro 275KV Transmission Network Connection – $37 million in 2021-22 towards the Kidston Hydro 275KV Transmission Network Connection, as part of the Government’s $147 million funding support to connect the 250MW Kidston Pumped Hydro Project to the National Electricity Market
- Glenore Weir Stabilisation – $1.6 million out of $2.4 million to provide permanent stabilisation of Glenore Weir to improve water storage and secure surrounding embankments
- Fred Haigh pump station electro-mechanical overhaul – $2.6 million out of $8 million to continue renewal of high-voltage yard and electro-mechanical equipment in Fred Haigh Pump Station
- Unmanned Aerial Systems flight test range – $5 million out of $14.5 million to deliver the Unmanned Aerial Systems flight test range at Cloncurry
- Mount Isa Copper Smelter – Undisclosed amount in support for the ongoing operation for three years of the Glencore copper smelter at Mount Isa.
- Kennedy Developmental Road (The Lynd-Hughenden) progressive sealing – $8 million out of $50 million delivered in partnership with the Federal Government
- Flinders Highway (Julia Creek-Cloncurry), Scrubby Creek strengthening and widening works – $18 million out of $32.7 million delivered in partnership with the Federal Government
- Aramac-Torrens Creek Road paving and sealing – $11.5 million out of $20 million delivered in partnership with the Federal Government
- Cloncurry-Dajarra Road widening and sealing works – $8 million out of $20 million delivered in partnership with the Federal Government.
- Mount Isa to Rockhampton corridor upgrade – $237.5 million towards upgrading the Landsborough and Capricorn Highways, delivered in partnership with the Federal Government.
- Mornington Island Hospital – $6.3 million out of $11.1 million for the construction of staff accommodation and replacement of hospital air-conditioning
- Normanton Hospital – $248,212 out of $300,000 towards hydraulics upgrades and other work
- Hughenden Hospital – $571,884 out of $2.6 for end-of-life electrical upgrades.
- Mornington Shire Civic Centre Project – $3.7 million of $5.3 million to deliver a new Council administration building and Chambers in the town centre consolidating all Council operations into one facility
- John Henry Memorial Park – $810,000 out of $900,000 to the Carpentaria Shire Council for new change rooms, amenities, storage shed and shade structure to support multi-sport at John Henry Memorial Park Oval, Normanton
- Gallipoli Park upgrade – $223,750 out of $895,000 to construct a pump track, multi-purpose court, outdoor exercise equipment and shade structures to support physical activity at Gallipoli Park in Mount Isa
- Mount Isa Family Fun Precinct Redevelopment Stage 2 – $563,475 out of $3.8 million to redevelop the Mount Isa Family Fun Precinct to increase usability, functionality and appeal of the multi-use recreational venue.
- Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program – $720,000 in 2021-22 to protect environmental and cultural heritage in Burketown
- Carpentaria Tyre Recycling Project – $119,613 out of $330,000 to transport end-of-life tyres from Normanton to south-east Queensland for recycling.
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