Mayor underwhelmed by promises
THE State Budget has been slammed as ignoring the Central Highlands despite Treasurer Andrew Fraser stating rebuilding regional communities was high on the government’s agenda.
Mayor Peter Maguire said there “wasn’t much” in the Budget, announced on Tuesday, for residents except for the re-announcement of funding for an Emerald fire station relocation and upgrade.
“And I emphasise re-announcement,” Cr Maguire said.
“That has been floating around since the last budget and we’re yet to see it come through.”
The relocation, he said, had been controversial as the government planned to build a new station at the corner of Andrews Rd and the Gregory Hwy. He said it made no sense.
“It makes no sense to build it on the east side of town when the majority of businesses and people live on the west side,” he said.
Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson joined Cr Maguire in his criticism of the Budget. “There was some strategic pork-barrelling, but in terms of supporting regional growth and productivity, there was nothing of substance,” Mr Johnson said.
“Gregory desperately requires substantial assistance with affordable housing for non-mining working families.”
He said an upgrade of Capricorn Hwy rather than repairs was needed.
“Some of this road repair is actually funded from the Federal Government National Disaster Relief program and some of it is funded from promises already announced and not fulfilled last financial year,” he said.
“This constant underfunding is a real barrier to raising Queensland’s productivity so we can repay some of these soaring debts incurred by years of incompetent government.”
$6.9 million for community safety
$1.732 million for schools
$20.68 million for roads
$3.02 million for energy and water upgrades