Decentralising the key: Newman
WHEN the state opposition leader flew into town unexpectedly yesterday he was not impressed with what he saw.
Mr Newman said the Labor Government had dropped the ball on a number of issues in Gladstone, not the least of which housing and the health system.
The cost of housing in Gladstone, he said, was a big concern.
"Rents are going through the roof and that is something that Labor has talked and talked and talked about but they never do anything about," Mr Newman said.
His approach, should an LNP Government be elected in March, he said would be to give the power to local government.
"If we become the Government we will have a partnership with the local council and we are going to give them the authority and the resources to actually take Gladstone forward.
"A local council at the grassroots level of government working with the local community are actually in a better position to make decisions for Gladstone and its people then far-off Brisbane," he said.
"There should never be a repeat of this housing crisis if we give the local government the tools to do the job."
The problem with both housing and the health system, Mr Newman said, was the centralisation of services.
"That's the problem with this government; they believe that it all has to go through head office in Brisbane, that's why things take so long.
"They haven't given Gladstone Council the authority and the resources to deal with the issue."
He said stories of the health system from regional centres such as Gladstone continued to disarray him.
"This government believes that everything should be centralised and that regional centres shouldn't get the same in the health area that the big cities in the south east have and that is something we will address if we become the government.
"Over the last two years this Labor Government has adopted a centralist approach.
"They have taken away powers and authority from councils and mayors.
"We need to actually give them appropriate powers with checks and balances so they can work from their local community," Mr Newman said.