Capricornia MP Michelle Landry hits back at Keppel MP

I AM confused yet again by another Lauga tirade (TMB, May 13).

This defensive snarling is becoming a familiar pattern from a state Labor Party that lacks stability.

In regard to the federal Stronger Regions fund:

I was dreadfully disappointed by the outcome of round one of the Federal Government's Stronger Regions Fund. But there are four more rounds to go.

The PM is confident that Central Queensland will feature on the radar in future rounds.

But some of the applications fell quite short of the criteria's expectations,

Despite Ms Lauga's youthful assertions, no one has blamed the Labor Party for Rockhampton or Livingstone's submissions not getting across the line.

It was a competitive process where only 51 projects across Australian were deemed eligible out of 405 applications.

We have already started linking some councils with brief access to senior Ministers to help them look towards the next round.

To clarify for Ms Lauga, one of the reasons projects such as Rockhampton wasn't approved by the Director General is because it assumed that a pledge from the former state government would be forthcoming.

But council's application contained no letter of guarantee from Queensland that funds would be honoured in the event of a state election. Without a letter of guarantee, Rockhampton Regional Council could not meet the dollar-for-dollar criteria that they claimed they could, to match the funding they had requested from the Federal Government.

Had their application relied simply on matching council's own contribution of $2.5million, with a request for $2.5million from the Federal Government, the result may well have been a different story.

It was pointed out that during the Victorian state election the Labor Party, then in opposition, wrote to the Federal Government pledging to honour funding commitments for some Stronger Regions projects in their state before it was elected.

This letter was accepted as a formal guarantee by the federal department. No one in government or opposition in Queensland at the time the applications were submitted offered such a financial guarantee.

This week in Canberra I have literally "ear bashed" my senior party colleagues about the need to focus on infrastructure projects in Central Queensland - an area impacted by Cyclone Marcia.


Michelle Landry MP

Federal Member for Capricornia

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