One Nation to divert Brisbane tunnel cash into water, power
PAULINE Hanson’s One Nation will use its influence in the next Parliament to axe a $ 5.4 billion Brisbane tunnel project and spend the money on the North’s water and power crisis.
Local One Nation candidates yesterday told the Bulletin the party would call for the Cross River Rail project to be cancelled and the money used to build a coal- fired power station and fund long- term water security for the North.
PAULINE Hanson’s One Nation wants to use its influence in the next State Parliament to axe a $ 5.4 billion tunnel in Brisbane and use the money to fix the North’s water and power crisis.
The party says it will call for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project to be axed and the money used to build a coal- fired power station and fund longterm water security for the North.
Burdekin candidate Sam Cox, the former LNP member for Thuringowa, yesterday announced a $ 360 million plan for Townsville’s water security, including $ 110 million for water treatment plants, and $ 750 million for a hydro- electric power station and Stage 2 of the Burdekin Falls Dam.
Mr Cox also announced a $ 1.4 billion plan for a 1000- megawatt coalfired power station in the North, a $ 310 million plan for the Tully Millstream hydro- electricity scheme and a $ 400 million plan for the Water for Bowen channel scheme.
“One Nation will not proceed with the $ 5.4 billion Cross River Rail but instead spend that money right across regional Queensland, delivering water security and lower electricity,” he said.
“The Federal Government and Infrastructure Australia don’t back Cross River Rail but we won’t be letting them walk away from matching the funding on these northern Australian projects dollar for dollar.”
Infrastructure Australia last week criticised the State Government’s business case for the tunnel project.
Mr Cox said One Nation’s plan was not “populist policy”.
“It is policy that will deliver public hope again in a government back on the people’s side,” he said. “I state there is a caveat that there are no quick fixes here after what this government has left us with but we must get the essentials right up front. One Nation puts the people before politics.”
Mr Cox said power prices would be cut by 20 per cent if One Nation held the balance of power in parliament.
“We listened to the likes of Queensland Canegrowers, who earlier this year did their own report showing how huge profits from energy companies should be coming off power bills,” he said. “The old major parties, the ALP and LNP, still don’t realise how serious an issue the cost of power is in the community.
“One Nation will be targeting the $ 1.3 billion paid annually by energy producers, which goes directly into consolidated revenue, and reduce power costs by 20 per cent.”
Mr Cox said One Nation also had a “solid” procurement policy.
“Any lost revenue would be compensated through a better managed-- government procurement policy for goods and services to ensure every $ 100 spent returns $ 100 value,” he said.
“Most government work was being done by subcontractors after the principal contractor had ( taken) 20 per cent off the top. One Nation will end the ‘ preferred providers’ system and open the scheme to all businesses wanting to deal with the government.”
Mr Cox said competition drove down prices and a saving of 20 per cent in power costs equated to billions.
THE stage is now well and truly set for the run to the next state election.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you cannot have missed the increasing amount of political activity centred around Townsville and the North Queensland region in recent weeks and months.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has now well and truly entered the fray, with its announcement that it will use its influence to exert pressure on George St to kill off the $ 5.4 billion Cross River Rail project in Brisbane.
The project has been panned by Infrastructure Australia, which says its analysis of the State Government’s business case shows its cost will far exceed its benefits.
The State Government and leaders in Brisbane have rejected the assessment and will plough on with the project regardless.
Meanwhile, spiralling costs of living and our ebbing water supply are bringing into stark focus the gaping divide between the haves in the southeast and the have nots out here in regional Queensland.
One Nation wants to take that money and put it into water security and lowering power prices for regional Queenslanders.
The policy is clearly a pitch for the angry voters of central and North Queensland, where water and power jostle for No. 1 on our list of grievances week after week.
Townsville is going to be a crucial battleground for political parties and voters in this city will take a lot of convincing.
Various factors have culminated to create the environment in which we live, but no amount of mud- slinging by the major parties about who is to blame for water, power, crime, jobs – pick any topic really – will make a difference when it comes time to vote.
North Queensland needs solutions to its problems, not blame games.
The parties – or independents – who produce costed, tested and credible solutions to the problems ordinary people face each day here in the North will win the day.
One Nation’s broadside to the big parties is a firm indication that it is targeting frustrated voters in the regions outside of Brisbane in the forthcoming election.
With this coming election race, the party has a chance to step away from the fringe and play a real role in shaping the future of the state.
If North Queensland is to become the powerhouse of future growth and development as economic activity shifts to Northern Australia in coming decades, our region must choose representatives who truly have our city and its people at heart.
BOLD: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidates Malcolm Charlwood ( Mundingburra), Sam Cox ( Burdekin) and Allan Evans ( Townsville) want to scrap a major Brisbane project and divert the money to the regions.