Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

POLITICS: Dispute over Hinkler Regional Deal continues

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has labelled the Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad a hypocrite for saying the Federal Government is stalling on vital infrastructure when the State Government won’t commit to co-funding the Hinkler Regional Deal.

Ms Trad’s comments were made in an opinion piece published in the Courier-Mail this week.

The Hinkler Regional Deal has been an ongoing dispute between the State and Federal governments, with the State refusing to come to the table to assist in funding infrastructure projects under the scheme unless Maryborough is included.

“I can’t believe the Treasurer is trying to place the blame for delays at the feet of the Federal Government.” Mr Pitt said.

“The Federal Government has committed $173 million to the Hinkler electorate through the Hinkler Regional Deal, yet her government is unwilling to commit to more than a couple of roads projects.

“There are several important infrastructure projects like the Quay St bypass and safety upgrades at Buxton on the Bruce Highway which have not received a funding commitment from the State Government in any shape or form.

“This is the same State Labor Government that refused to sign up to the Skilling Australians Fund which would have seen an additional 50,000 new apprentice training places in Queensland.

“The Queensland State Labor Government needs to start looking outside the southeast corner and invest in regional areas.

“Our communities deserve better.”

Mr Pitt said with the State Government delivering $100 million in projects for Maryborough, they should have room to deliver for Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

“It is in the interest of our region for them (State Government) to get on board.”

Yesterday The Chronicle sought Ms Trad’s response to Mr Pitt’s comments.

“When I listen to people in regional Queensland, as I did in Bundaberg on Tuesday, the things that are most important to them are secure, skilled jobs like those in manufacturing, as well as community infrastructure – the roads, schools and hospitals they rightly expect governments to deliver,” she said.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk government is investing almost $600 million in infrastructure in the Wide Bay region in 2019-20, which will support more than 2200 jobs.

“We’re delivering more than $1.9 billion in roads and transport infrastructure for the Wide Bay Burnett region over the next four years, including major projects jointly funded with the Federal Government on the Bruce Highway.

“Our commitment to the Wide Bay Region is fully funded and being rolled out now.”