MPs clash over funding after Regional Deal roadblock
HERVEY Bay MP Ted Sorensen says the State Government has failed in its role in upgrading one of Hervey Bay's most important roads by shunning the Hinkler Regional Deal in the State Budget.
"The Federal Government's Hinkler Regional Deal would have brought increased employment opportunities to Hervey Bay, with $7.7 million to extend Urraween Rd through to Boundary Rd," Mr Sorensen said.
But his neighbouring Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders has defended the government's choice to shun the deal, labelling it "a dud".
"I'm over it, there's no money for Maryborough and we're actually doing up infrastructure, hospitals and schools," Mr Saunders said.
Mr Sorensen said he was "astonished" by the budget, released Tuesday, accusing the government of "pork-barrelling Labor seats" and missing an opportunity to woo regional voters.
"You would think with the massive swing against Labor in the last Federal election they would have done things differently, but they are pork-barrelling Labor seats especially in south east Queensland," Mr Sorensen said.
He was particularly disappointed in the lack of infrastructure spend in Hervey Bay.
"Labor's Treasurer Jackie Trad is more at home trading political stunts, rather than garnishing money for vital infrastructure projects in the electorate of Hervey Bay," Mr Sorensen said.
Mr Saunders said the budget had delivered record funding for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, up $29 million from the previous year, and had delivered on a number of road priorities like the turn-offs near Maaroom and Poona and the upgrade to the Royal St intersection.
"It's a brilliant budget... there are 17 other schools across Wide Bay getting upgrades, including St Helens, Maryborough Central and Central West," Mr Saunders said.
When asked about his thoughts on state debt ballooning to $90 billion over the next four years, Mr Saunders said the State Government was investing the money into much-needed areas like housing and education.
Ms Trad said the budget would contain a $50 billion capital spend over four years with $12.9 billion to be spent in 2019/20 to create 40,500 jobs.
She said about 25,500 of those jobs would be created in the regions outside the greater Brisbane area with 60 per cent of the infrastructure spend allocated to regional projects.