Battle lines drawn in fight for Flynn
POLITICAL sparring between Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Labor challenger Zac Beers is showing no signs of relenting following the release of this year's Federal Budget.
And it's likely to ramp up even further ahead of the upcoming federal election, which is tipped to fall on May 11, 18 or 25.
Both candidates are poles apart on many issues but in agreement on one - funding for Stage 2 of the Port Access Rd and the $100million in federal funds attached.
Mr O'Dowd talked up the Coalition's economic record and spruiked the projected $7.1billion surplus.
"By balancing the books and delivering a $7.1billion surplus, the first in a decade, we can pay for what we promise, create more local jobs by backing our businesses, lower taxes so more families keep more of what they earn and guarantee critical local services," Mr O'Dowd said.
"We're seeing an end to deficit and this is something Labor hasn't seen since 1989 and we've done this without taxing the people more."
The $100million set aside for the Port Access Rd was Gladstone's only major win in the budget although there was announcements affecting the wider Flynn electorate.
Mr Beers described the budget as "a kick in the teeth for the people of Gladstone".
"The LNP has delivered a budget that completely ignores Gladstone and leaves locals out in the cold," Mr Beers said.
Mr Beers also promised $100million for the road but argued the LNP's funding was five years too late.
"In the 2011-12 Budget the Federal Labor Government provided funding for the project. But in 2014, at the behest of the Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, the LNP withdrew that investment," he said.
Mr O'Dowd said the road's funding was never going to happen under Labor.
"What's laughable is that Budget Paper No 2 of the 2011 Federal Budget spells out clearly the project would only ever be funded under a Labor government if the Minerals Resource Rent Tax raised any money," he said.
The Flynn MP couldn't put a timeline on Stage 2 of the road. "It's hard when you are working with the State Government and Main Roads," Mr O'Dowd said.
"For instance I've had $20million on the table for Philip St and that's finally coming around after three years and hopefully that will start in the next couple of months."
The Gladstone Mater Hospital purchase was also raised by the Flynn MP after Mr Beers announced Labor would commit $15million toward its purchase.
Mr O'Dowd said he wanted to see a detailed business plan regarding the sale.