‘We’ve been dudded’: Costigan
WE’VE been dudded – by both sides of politics, according to Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan.
Firstly, the Whitsundays missed out in the post-Cyclone Debbie state budget, he says.
Specifically, Mr Costigan thinks the cyclone highlighted the importance of projects such as the flood-proofing of Hamilton and Goorganga Plains.
And in the aftermath he thinks money should have been committed to rebuilding a Department of Transport and Main Roads office in Proserpine and fixing the devastation at Shute Harbour.
“Here was an opportunity for them to show that they actually care... but guess what – we got big fat zero,” he said.
“To me, we were dudded there. We were robbed. If there was one state budget that we were going to get some love, it would have been right there and then.”
And to make things worse, there’s now the “furore going on about Category D” funding.
“And rightly so, because now we’re being dudded by Canberra,” Mr Costigan said.
Mr Costigan doesn’t profess to know the “ins and outs” of the eligibility criteria for Category D funding, which is one of the sticking points between the Commonwealth and State.
“But I would have thought Shute Harbour, for example, (should meet the criteria),” he said.
Mr Costigan said he had only recently taken Senator Matt Canavan to Shute Harbour to show him the impact of the cyclone on a place that was once the second-busiest passenger port in the country.
On Friday, Mr Costigan drafted a letter to Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull inviting him “to stand alongside myself and other elected representatives at Shute Harbour to announce an expanded package of disaster recovery payments to help our community to get back on track”.
Here was an opportunity to show that they actually care ... (and) we got big fat zero.
— Jason Costigan
CALLING IT: Whitsunday MP cyclone-damaged Shute Harbour. Jason Costigan at