Pool protest plan

Childers res­i­dents pre­pare to protest La­bor’s de­ci­sion to axe $300,000 hy­drother­apy pool

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

CHILDERS res­i­dents are pre­par­ing to march through town at the end of month to protest La­bor’s de­ci­sion to axe $300,000 in fund­ing.

Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick said last week a hy­drother­apy pool was not funded and would not pro­ceed, spark­ing out­rage in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Lawrence Spring­borg de­scribed the de­ci­sion to pull funds from the much-needed pool as pun­ish­ment for lo­cal vot­ers elect­ing an LNP rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Mr Spring­borg and Bur­nett MP Stephen Bennett an­nounced the $300,000 project dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign in Jan­uary, but main­tained the com­mit­ment was not de­pen­dent on re-elec­tion.

Mr Bennett’s of­fice be­gan or­gan­is­ing the March 31 rally, but Isis Dis­trict Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers pres­i­dent John van Barn­eveld has led the charge in re­cruit­ment.

Mr van Barn­eveld said the march would fol­low a track from Isis Club to Cres­cent St.

He said a pe­ti­tion was be­ing or­gan­ised.

“The whole town is abuzz,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be the first protest march in Childers but will be the first one in a long time.”

Mr Spring­borg as­sured Town & Coun­try the com­mit­ments were fully funded, and said the money came from a $34 mil­lion sur­plus in Queens­land Health.

He said the sur­plus funded not only the hy­drother­apy pool, but many other small projects across the state.

“What’s hap­pened with that money?” he asked.

“What we have is La­bor back in their old ways. We were fix­ing wait­ing lists and we still found money for th­ese projects.

“The fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of Queens­land Health will go to the dol­drums now.”

A spokesper­son for Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick said it was an ex­am­ple of LNP ar­ro­gance.

When asked if Mr Dick would visit Childers and ex­plain the de­ci­sion to lo­cal vot­ers, the spokesper­son said that was Mr Spring­borg and Mr Bennett’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“I am ad­vised that the pre­vi­ous LNP gov­ern­ment never pro­vided any fund­ing or funds for this project,” the spokesper­son said.

“It is an­other il­lus­tra­tion of the deep ar­ro­gance of the LNP that they made prom­ises which they could not keep.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate that this is a dis­ap­point­ing out­come for lo­cals, but it is for Mr Spring­borg and Mr Bennett to ex­plain to the Childers com­mu­nity why they did not al­lo­cate suf­fi­cient fund­ing for the project.”

Mr Spring­borg could not com­mit to be at the march but in­tended to visit Childers at “some point”.

“The sched­ule is chock-a-block at the mo­ment so it’s hard to com­mit so far out,” he said.

Pick up next week’s Town & Coun­try for the lat­est.

PHOTO: KATE CZERNY, CON­TRIB­UTED

AT ODDS: Op­po­si­tion Leader Lawrence Spring­borg and (inset) Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick.

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