Sunny Coast loses out in State Budget

Sunshine Coast residents have a right to feel duped after Labor Treasurer Curtis Pitt snubbed the Sunshine Coast in today’s State Budget.

Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie said the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s disregard for the Sunshine Coast is clear and is concerned that the lack of investment in infrastructure and roads will be bad news for jobs and opportunity on the Coast.

“Anastacia Palaszczuk and her Ministers have shut down important infrastructure projects all around the state, with no foresight or regard to what this means for jobs and the economy.

“Since coming to government, Labor has scrapped $6B of planned projects cutting up to 10,000 jobs, including critical transport infrastructure on the Sunshine Coast such as the Mooloolah River Interchange.”

Mr Bleijie said whilst funding for the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital is always welcomed, he is alarmed that the Government has not committed to providing the road network to support the delivery of the hospital.

“There is no foresight in this decision by Labor.

“It was the Labor Government who delayed the hospital for years before the LNP prioritised the development and started to deliver this essential infrastructure. Now, once again we see Labor turning their backs on the infrastructure to support it.”

Last year, the Member for Kawana surveyed his electorate and, overwhelmingly, responses revealed improved road and transport infrastructure was a high priority for residents.

“The Premier needs to visit the Sunshine Coast and explain to residents how she intends to deal with the road pressures and congestion that will be generated once the hospital opens in 2016.

“It could be the difference between a life saved or lost,” he said.

Mr Bleijie was also scathing of Health Minister Cameron Dick’s recent claims of a billion dollar funding shortfall by the LNP.

“Mr Dick visited the hospital for a quick photograph and made wild accusations of a billion dollar funding black hole.

“The budget delivered today proves this was nothing more than scaremongering and there was in fact no black hole to fill,” he said.

Jobs, employment and cost of living expenses were also a sticking point for the Member for Kawana.

“At 14.4 per cent, youth unemployment is far too high in Kawana. This budget has failed to deliver any real job-creating projects for the Sunshine Coast which will hurt our local economy and see locals travelling to Brisbane for employment.”

“We’ve also not seen any cost of living relief for Sunshine Coast families,” Mr Bleijie said.

“One of Labors’ first acts in government was to hike up registration on the family car by 3.5 per cent, compared to the LNP’s record of freezing registration costs for three years.

“Under our plan, all Cabinet decisions would include a Cost of Living impact statement to ensure the impacts of these decisions on Queensland families is fully understood.

“This budget proves that Labor has no plan for jobs, no plan for growth and no plan to improve business confidence on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

[ENDS] 14 July 2015