Pool protest plan
Childers residents prepare to protest Labor’s decision to axe $300,000 hydrotherapy pool
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.
AT ODDS: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg and (inset) Health Minister Cameron Dick.