Budget promises off the map
IN an embarrassing stuff-up for the State Government, the new Building Queensland website – launched to simplify how the 2010-11 budget affected your region – appeared to have a glitch yesterday that showed projects from as far as Nambour happening in the Warwick district.
The glitch appeared to have been fixed by early yesterday evening.
The Warwick region has been neglected in terms of major projects for the next financial year, despite huge spending elsewhere in the state.
The major big-ticket items for the Southern Downs region include a chunk of $280,000 to construct a swimming pool at Inglewood and $1 million for the Macintyre Brook Water Supply Scheme near Texas.
State Member for Southern Downs and deputy opposition leader Lawrence Springborg yesterday described treasurer Andrew Fraser's budget speech as the “most boring, uninspired budget speech I have ever heard”.
“It was totally uninspiring,” Mr Springborg told the Daily News.
“Not once in his 30-minute speech did the treasurer mention primary industries, tourism, mining or small business. Now what's the significance of those?
“Well, that's just the Queensland economy.”
Mr Springborg said he was disappointed with the lack of major projects for the Southern Downs region.
“What's there for our patch? Well, there's not much there for Queensland in general,” he said.
“We've got a bit for projects that have already started. That's basically the trend of it across Queensland, bits of stuff here and there that's nothing really inspiring – it's just the most visionless document.”
He said if it was an LNP budget it would be a “very pro-business, pro-entrepreneurial budget about laying down the foundations to grow our economy”.
“Where are the roads upgrades outside a few bigger highways in south-east Queensland?
“The Cunningham Highway for example,” Mr Springborg said.
“Where are the rail upgrades? We've got the white cockatoos at Goondiwindi carrying away the cotton quicker than Queensland Rail.”
The RACQ CareFlight service in Toowoomba, which services the Southern Downs region along with the Gold Coast rescue helicopter, was given a $1.64 million boost in yesterday's state budget.
The State Government has also committed a $4000 boost to the existing $7000 first home owner grant for people building new homes in regional Queensland.
Warwick Chamber of Commerce president John Randall yesterday said he was disappointed with the 2010-11 budget.
“Most of the dollars committed for infrastructure in our area are for projects that have already been completed, some of them up to two years ago,” he said.
“There appears to be little joy for local business operators ... it seems like the state government has not smiled kindly on our area.
“The chamber will be delving into the budget in more depth once more information comes out and we get past the initial PR blurb.
“The 2010-11 budget creates very few jobs for our area.”
Premier Anna Bligh yesterday said this year's budget “recognises the importance of Queensland's regions and the critical role they play in Queensland's strength”.
“If we want to encourage people to live in the regions then we need to have the services and infrastructure in place,” she said.
“This is a responsible budget that builds on the foundations for a stronger economic recovery.”
Check out what the state budget had in store for the Southern Downs region for yourself.
Visit the website at www.budget.qld.gov.au.
Better loo only coup in Budget