Shorten tells PM to hon­our cy­clone pledge

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JES­SICA MARSZALEK

OP­PO­SI­TION Leader Bill Shorten has ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull of short- chang­ing Queens­lan­ders strug­gling to re­build af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie in favour of giv­ing mil­lion­aires a tax cut.

Mr Shorten has writ­ten to the PM amid on­go­ing dis­agree­ment over Nat­u­ral Dis­as­ter Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Ar­range­ments ( NDRRA) fund­ing.

Queens­land had ap­plied for $ 220 mil­lion in fund­ing, with the Com­mon­wealth re­quired to pay half.

But the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has ac­cused the state of ap­ply­ing for in­el­i­gi­ble projects and will only pay $ 29 mil­lion.

Mr Shorten has writ­ten to Mr Turn­bull, ac­cus­ing him of ig­nor­ing the Com­mon­wealth’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“It is also a stark re­minder of the pri­or­i­ties of a gov­ern­ment that main­tains its com­mit­ment to a tax cut for big busi­ness and mil­lion­aires, while leav­ing dis­as­ter- af­fected parts of Queens­land with­out the sup­port they need to re­build af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie,” he wrote.

He said the sug­ges­tion Queens­land was us­ing the ar­range­ments as an in­fra­struc­ture “slush fund” was in­sult­ing.

“Queens­lan­ders need sup­port from their prime min­is­ter to get back on their feet, not cheap in­sults,” he said.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten.

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