‘ City slicker’ wor­ries North

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

NORTH Queens­land’s needs are feared to be in jeop­ardy af­ter Bris­bane Lord Mayor Camp­bell New­man yes­ter­day put up his hand for the LNP lead­er­ship.

Thuringowa MP Craig Wal­lace said the LNP was alien­at­ing re­gional Queens­land, par­tic­u­larly the North, by se­lect­ing a ‘‘ Bris­bane-cen­tric’’ mayor for the job.

But other pub­lic fig­ures have ex­pressed com­plete faith in the new leader de­liv­er­ing for North Queens­lan­ders.

Mr Wal­lace said the lead­er­ship tus­sle would not prompt the State Gov­ern­ment to move the elec­tion for­ward from early next year, given the amount of re­build­ing re­quired by the state fol­low­ing disas­ter dam­age.

He ac­cused Mr New­man of ac­tively seek­ing to pull fund­ing from re­gional Queens­land in the


Carey past and of be­ing wor­ried the south-east cor­ner would miss out af­ter ru­ral in­de­pen­dents, in­clud­ing Kennedy MP Bob Kat­ter, held the bal­ance of power af­ter last year’s fed­eral elec­tion.

‘‘ He doesn’t know or un­der­stand the re­gions, and what’s more, he has cam­paigned against the re­gions get­ting fund­ing," Mr Wal­lace said.

‘‘ Bris­bane would be his pri­or­ity and he would strip fund­ing from the re­gions.’’

Mr Wal­lace said ma­jor Townsville projects such as the Dou­glas Ar­te­rial du­pli­ca­tion on the Ring Road would be jeop­ar­dised.

Townsville En­ter­prise CEO Trevor Gold­stone said it was ‘‘ nat­u­ral’’ to ques­tion whether Mr New­man would favour the south-east at the North’s ex­pense.

‘‘( Mr New­man) would have to prove very clearly that he is about Queens­land and not Bris­bane,’’ he said.

‘‘ Let’s face it, he’s been a great ad­vo­cate for Bris­bane . . . so you c o u l d n ’ t h e l p b u t w o n d e r whether he’s fair dinkum for all of Queens­land.’’

Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent John Carey said the LNP would ig­nore re­gional Queens­land ‘‘ at its own peril’’.

But the LNP’s Mund­ing­burra can­di­date, deputy mayor David Crisa­fulli, said Mr New­man’s ex­pe­ri­ence as lord mayor of Bris­bane would ben­e­fit the North.

‘‘ He’s got a track record for in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery and what North Queens­land needs at the mo­ment is in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery,’’ Mr Crisa­fulli said.

Mayor Les Tyrell said he had ‘‘ no con­cerns what­so­ever’’ Mr New­man would snub the North.

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