Hinkler MP Keith Pitt saying Hervey Bay and Bundaberg missed out in the state budget. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt saying Hervey Bay and Bundaberg missed out in the state budget. Picture: Kevin Farmer

MP accuses State Gov’t of leaving Bay behind in budget

THE State Government has been accused of failing to deliver anything substantial for Hervey Bay or Bundaberg in the budget other than "more debt".

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the State Government was in debt well before COVID-19 and this has only got worse, with borrowings blown out from $4 billion to $28 billion.

Mr Pitt slammed the Queensland Government for what he labelled funding the destruction of water security by allocating $89.6 million in the region to lower the spillway at Paradise Dam, but not one cent to fix the dam or restore it to full capacity.

"It beggars' belief why the State Government couldn't use that $89.6 million to repair Paradise Dam, instead of ripping down the dam wall and ripping away water security from the agriculture industry," Mr Pitt said.

"At the very least the State Government should have waited for more testing to be done before starting the work.

"Our agriculture sector is still struggling with no firm commitment from the State Government to fix Paradise Dam.

"It's laughable that the Queensland Treasurer states the Budget's single overarching objective is to create more Queensland jobs, when the decision to remove capacity from Paradise Dam is threatening jobs in the agriculture industry.

"Other than token funding for planning or business cases for the Bundaberg Hospital and the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, just how many years will the residents of Bundaberg wait for these services to be delivered?"

Mr Pitt said the State Government's commitment of $42.5 million for the East Bundaberg Flood Levee was reliant on the Federal Government coming up with the other half.

"All I know about the proposal is what was announced during the State election campaign and what I have read in the media. I have not seen a proposal, however local residents have approached my office with a number of concerns about the proposed levee.

"The flood which devastated Bundaberg was in 2013 and yet, here we are almost at the end of 2020 with no flood mitigation measures in place."

"After four years of the Palaszczuk Government ignoring this region, we now enter a new chapter of inaction."

Newly elected state member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari hit back at Mr Pitt's claims.

 

"This week's State Budget is a great win for Hervey Bay - delivering billions off dollars for new projects in the Wide Bay region," he said.
 

"It includes $948 million for new infrastructure, $2.9 billion for health services and $64.6 million for schools.


"From $2.8 million for a new ambulance station at Urraween through to millions of dollars for Hervey Bay Hospital and even more funding to upgrade the Bruce Highway, this Budget will create jobs and improve the lives of locals.
 

"As the new Member for Hervey Bay, I can assure residents that this is just the beginning.


"In parliament this week, I've already started lobbying for more funding for projects in our community and I'm excited about what we can achieve.
 

"Keith Pitt has delivered nothing for Hervey Bay.


"It's not good enough. I'll work hard to hold him to account."