LNP blasts QLD Government's record on election anniversary
CENTRAL Queensland's Federal LNP politicians have blasted the Queensland Government's performance one year on from its election victory.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan spoke on Friday, describing the past year as one of shocking neglect for the people of Central Queensland, where unemployment continues to grow.
They said since the Queensland Government was re-elected, unemployment across the state had gone up from 5.9 to 6.3 per cent, with Central Queensland's unemployment now above the state average at 6.8 per cent.
Ms Landry said the Liberal National Party had a real plan to create jobs across Central Queensland.
"At every step of the way, I am constantly fighting for a fair share of Commonwealth funding to create real opportunities in our region,” Ms Landry said.
"That's why I have secured funding to build a third bridge across the Fitzroy River - to create jobs, cut travel times and get big rigs off our local streets.
"Despite Labor's attempts to stall the project, construction of Rookwood Weir is expected to start next year - creating thousands of local jobs and doubling farming production in the Rockhampton region.”
Ms Landry said the LNP's record on the mining industry was solid, they supported coal mining, coal-fired power stations and they backed the thousands of Central Queensland families that depend on the coal industry to make a living.
"Unlike Labor, the LNP recognises Central Queensland is the powerhouse for our state's economy,” she said.
"It's about time Queensland Labor got out of the way so we can get cracking on creating real local jobs in Central Queensland.”
Senator Canavan said the re-election of the Queensland Government had been a disaster for Central Queensland.
"During last year's campaign, the Premier described her primary motivation as 'getting people into work' - but her government has only ever stood in the way of creating real jobs,” he said.
"Take Rookwood Weir for example - a project that will create 2100 local jobs. The Federal LNP committed funding to this project way back in May, 2016. It took two years, three months and 18 days for the Palaszczuk Government to write back and make it happen.
"By delaying Rookwood Weir, Ms Palaszczuk has denied thousands of Central Queenslanders the opportunity to get a good job in the construction and agricultural production sectors.
"The impact of Labor's shocking mismanagement can be seen right across Rockhampton, with almost 40 stores in our CBD sitting empty and electricity prices remain unsustainably high.”
At every opportunity, he said, the Queensland Government had shown contempt for the people of Central Queensland - with a track record of "snuffing out jobs that are so desperately needed in our region”.
At a press conference yesterday, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke expressed disappointment with the LNP's attacks, saying they were talking down Rockhampton and were seeking to absolve themselves from responsibility for the region's unemployment level.
"People are sick and tried of politicians who blame everyone else for their inactions. The Queensland Government have been getting on with the job,” Mr O'Rourke said.
"In recent times, $610million was invested into Central Queensland health and hospital districts, up $44million on the last financial year.
"We've got $3.8million for our schools and nearly $17million for the courthouse precinct.”
He said in the past 12 months, 4000 jobs were created with job seeker participation levels increasing by 2.7 per cent.
Mrs Lauga said despite the LNP members' attempts to spoil the first anniversary of the re-election of the State Government, she was proud of the efforts they had made towards re-establishing frontline services, quality education and health services.
"Since the election we have delivered 37 extra doctors, 47 extra nurses and a 132 teachers in Central Queensland alone,” Mrs Lauga said. She acknowledged that there was still more work to be done to address local unemployment after the closure of the Aurizon Rockhampton workshops and JM Kelly went bust, losing some 250 jobs in the region.
"Which is why our government is working to grow new industries, especially in regional areas,” she said.
"We must ensure we have the skills and experience here in CQ needed for the jobs of the future in a rapidly evolving economy.”
Mrs Lauga said the State Government was doing the lion's share when it came to growing jobs and infrastructure, including a $25million investment for Great Keppel Island, an $8.4million upgrade at the North Rockhampton Nursing Home, $241million expansion of the Capricornia Correction Centre, $14.2million for a new 42-bed ice, detox and rehabilitation centre and providing funding under the Works for Queensland Program to assist local councils to deliver more infrastructure projects.
She accused Ms Landry and the LNP of not contributing to any of those projects.