CQ accused of receiving more state money than SE QLD
A WAR of words between politicians has erupted in the wake of a report claiming parts of South East Queensland were underfunded compared to regional areas like Fitzroy.
The Brisbane Times article, based on economist Gene Tunny's June blog post on the Queensland Economy Watch web site, showed an analysis of the state government's 2017-18 budget broken down to a per capita basis.
"The large per capita funding differences between well-funded regions, such as Fitzroy and inner Brisbane, and relatively poorly funded regions, such as Brisbane's eastern, southern and western suburbs and Logan-Beaudesert among others, appear excessive to me," Mr Tunny said.
He said there was strong case for these fast-growing areas to be considered as underfunded and for the reallocation of funding to be considered.
The Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said he wasn't making no apologies for investing in regional infrastructure and stimulating regional job creation after the years of underfunding by the LNP.
"From its first day in office the Palaszczuk Government has been giving support to regional communities that are not transitioning to a post-mining boom economy as well as others," Mr Pitt said.
"We have implemented a range of programs to help business and industry grow and create jobs in regional Queensland, and our $40 billion four-year infrastructure program gives special attention to regional economies.
"That's exactly why almost half of the $10.2 billion earmarked for 2017-18 is for regional projects."
Mr Pitt said creating jobs, especially in those areas with stubbornly high unemployment had been the Government's number one priority.
LNP Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson dismissed Mr Pitt's claims of spending big saying the budget papers actually show infrastructure spending in the Fitzroy region was cut by almost $40 million under Labor's watch.
"Infrastructure spending across the state is down more than $1.2 billion compared to three years ago, no matter what part of Queensland you come from, you're seeing less invested in infrastructure in your community," he said.
"In the Central Queensland region, we've seen almost 4,000 jobs disappear under Labor and the unemployment rate increase to 7.2 per cent.
"This just shows that Mr Pitt's claims about creating jobs in the regions is nothing more than hollow spin."
LNP Candidate for Rockhampton Douglas Rodgers has labelled the Labor state government's efforts in regional Queensland as "all dither, no deliver".
"Central Queensland is the engine room of the state's economy, the agriculture and mining sectors have kept the economy rolling and the government's budget solvent, surely the people of this region deserve to see the benefit of this," Mr Rodgers said.
"If we were reaping what we sowed, there simply wouldn't be a battle for funding for our most important economic infrastructure projects."
He said the LNP planned re-instate Royalties for Regions with a $500 million fund and will see that desperately needed roads, bridges, and dams are built.
"I will continue fighting for real economic infrastructure, like Rookwood Weir, like the Capricorn Highway duplication, so that the region that delivers so much for the state gets its fair share," he said.