Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce joins Member for Maranoa David Littleproud on a tour of John Dee, guided by John Dee CEO Warren Stiff.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce joins Member for Maranoa David Littleproud on a tour of John Dee, guided by John Dee CEO Warren Stiff. Elyse Wurm

From John Dee to ice, Littleproud looks back on 2017

AS THE curtain begins to close on 2017, Maranoa MP David Littleproud took a chance to look back on the year for our region.

One of these coups came in July, with the announce- ment of a $4.97M federal funding boost for John Dee.

Mr Littleproud said the funding, as a part of the Building Better Regions Fund, would provide further jobs in the Rose City.

"We're proud to secure the cold-storage facility at John Dee,” he said.

"It will serve to create 143 direct jobs, and another 136 indirect positions.

"It is also going to future- proof the 600 people that work at John Dee. It under- pins the local economy, and will provide a real wealth for the Southern Downs.”

Mr Littleproud said another standout was the extra allocation of resources and funding for a Granite Belt drug action team to tackle the issue of ice.

"The community has been forcing the issue on these outcomes, and they should take a bow,” he said.

"They came out in force during the community ice forums to drive this. I found it abhorrent that taxpayers' money was gold-plating services in Toowoomba.

"I effectively went to war with the primary health network, which ignored the lives of those in Maranoa. I found it disgusting and wouldn't let it rest.”

Mr Littleproud said a continued focus on the issue would be on the agenda for 2018, with a goal to have more people on the ground.

"We still want more resources on the ground and more to do in support services. We don't intend to stop,” he said. "We will continue to pursue more clinical workers, and we need more rehabilitation services and another detox centre in Queensland.

"When addicts want to reach out, there is a small window of opportunity, and unless we have those resources to get to them, the will invariably go back to their old ways.

"People shouldn't be disadvantaged because of not having resources. We're proud of the first step, but there are more to take.”

Mr Littleproud said there were a number of issues he wanted to push in 2018.

"The job is never done,” he said. "The delivery of services is important, including the NBN rolling out to Warwick.

"More infrastructure on our roads is imperative, as is mental health. I need to keep making sure our voice is heard and keep asking for our fair share.”



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