Butcher: Budget a ‘rip off’ for Queenslanders
Two Central Queensland politicians have voiced their contrasting opinions on the rollout of the Federal Government’s 2021 budget.
Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said Australians were well on the road to recovery, with the Federal Government promising to rebuild the economy and create more jobs after a COVID-19 induced recession.
“Australia entered the crisis from a position of economic strength having brought the Budget back to balance for the first time in 11 years,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“This provided us with the fiscal firepower to support the Flynn community when we needed it most including record funding for schools, hospitals, aged care, mental health and the NDIS.”
As part of the COVID-19 response, the Morrison Government committed $291 billion in economic support for Australians.
Mr O’Dowd said the Federal Government had funded vital Flynn infrastructure including the Capricorn Highway, Gregory Highway Intersection Upgrade in Emerald and the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Gladstone.
“The government is building the infrastructure our community needs for the future, with a record 10-year $110 billion infrastructure pipeline, which is already supporting 100,000 jobs across the country,” he said.
But Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the budget was a complete “rip off”.
“Very little is coming to Queensland,” Mr Butcher said.
“The Federal Budget has given well over $3 billion to Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales dollars and a lot of that funding was in the short term forecast.
“They’ve given Queensland $1.6 billion and a lot of that was in the medium term and 10-year term.
“Not only was the budget a disgrace and shame for Queensland but we see nothing for the seat of Flynn.”
Mr Butcher said it was disappointing there was no new funding allocated for the region’s roads and the health sector.
“Particularly for Flynn, transport and mains roads is a huge problem for regional Queensland, and health needs more funds coming forward,” he said.
“We’ve had little support from the Federal Government and it’s very disappointing to see there was no future support for health through this pandemic.”
Mr Butcher said he was also disappointed Gladstone had received zero funding particularly for the Boyne Smelter and an aquatic centre at Boyne Island and Tannum Sands.
“Gladstone Regional Council had been looking for funding for a pool in the Boyne Tannum region but what we did see was Michelle Landry who advocated and received $13m for a pool for her electorate,” he said.
“The other thing was the support a smelter in Victoria received, where Queensland has the same and there was not a mention for support.”