STATE BUDGET FORGOT THE NEEDS OF FNQ
The State Budget delivered by Treasurer Curtis Pitt has provided little for the Far North.
The ALP found $2billion for a cross river rail project in Brisbane.
A part of that could have been utilised for re-routing the Kuranda Range Road or a tunnel providing jobs for several years.
No funds have been provided for urgently needed, increased water storage to give irrigation farmers a guarantee of actually harvesting a crop. From July 1, Tinaroo Dam users will face a cut of 60 per cent to their allocations.
No funding was announced even for a feasibility study to build new dams in the
Cook electorate. The water moratorium put in place by the Labor Government remains in place from Lakeland north while banana farmers struggle to keep crops alive.
Building the North Johnston River diversion channel to provide an urgent top up for Tinaroo Dam has been ignored.
Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth thought the LNP might find some backbone and support the north by voting against the budget unless jobs and infrastructure outcomes were delivered.
They didn’t and we now face another year or more of struggling against 7 per
cent increases to electricity bills. The Government controls 80 per cent of power generation and 100 per cent of retailing, so prices could be lowered instead they use it as a hidden tax on consumers.
The high cost of electricity is forcing businesses and manufacturing out of business.
Ergon had a long list of householders who have been unable to pay their bills on time at the existing rate. How does this mindless government think they can pay the increase?
I have heard farmers say they will revert to diesel generation for water
pumps and even their households.
A radio station now will have to endure an annual power bill of $120,000 and an engineering works is going to cop a monthly bill of $10,000.
The RSL club, local hotels and businesses will be crippled by the extra cost of power for lights and refrigeration, and how farmers with large cold storage units will survive is anybody’s guess.
It is absolutely essential the north gets local representatives elected at the next State election. Say goodbye to the big parties for your survival.
Gordon Rasmussen, KAP candidate for Cook