Newman woos regional Qld
CAMPBELL Newman’s “I’m committed to rural and regional Queensland” tour made a fleeting stop in Rockhampton yesterday afternoon but he assured the region it wouldn’t be his last.
The new Queensland opposition leader’s visit lasted just over two hours and involved meeting the press, dodging traffic at the Yeppen roundabout and rubbing elbows with party faithfuls at a gathering at The Coffee House.
Mustering all his charm, Mr Newman assured Rockhampton residents that he would produce for regional Queensland, with one of his top priorities being the Bruce Highway.
“Four hundred times in the last two years the Bruce Highway has been cut,” Mr Newman pointed out.
“That’s not good enough, and we will have a policy, a plan to actually give a level of flood immunity to the Bruce Highway.”
He said something should have been done to flood-proof the major road network in the early 1990s.
“If we go back to around ’92 and ’93 there was a flood study done at that time. My understanding is the cost in those days was about $32 million. I don’t have a figure today but I’m sure it’s a lot more expensive.”
But Mr Newman did not change his stance on the prospects of building a stadium if Central Queensland was to land itself an NRL team, saying he wouldn’t commit to anything before he knew what the plans involved.
“I’m going to be very interested to talk to people in the local community, whether it be the mayor or representatives from the NRL about what they’re putting on the table,” Mr Newman said.
“I totally support a team in the NRL. It’s a great thing and I’d love to see a stadium here, but let’s see what the arrangement is. Let’s see what the taxpayers of Queensland are up for.”
He also expressed concern about the impact of the coal seam gas industry on the agricultural industry and said the LNP would look at regulations to ensure agricultural land was not compromised.
“You’ve got to be able to work a paddock,” Mr Newman said.
“You can’t just have a pipeline going across it, carving it up into unworkable portions. Some simple straightforward measures, indeed a voluntary code of practice by the industry, could be what’s needed there and people need to see the money coming back into the local communities.”
He also addressed the issue of privatisation saying he believed ports should be owned by the people of Queensland.
He reassured voters that any plans for privatisation would be announced before an election.
Mr Newman said the visit to Rockhampton wouldn’t be his last as he endeavoured to visit “every nook and cranny” of Queensland.