‘ City slicker’ worries North
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.