Gladstone misses out entirely on mining royalties funds
GLADSTONE Mayor Gail Sellers has blasted the State Government following the region's omission from the first round of Royalties for the Regions funding,
Of the 20 projects to receive funding under the program, 10 are located in the Western Downs and four in the Maranoa regions, with Gladstone one of eight regions to miss out entirely.
Cr Sellers was incredulous as to how one of Queensland's boom cities did not qualify for assistance through the Royalties for the Regions program.
"The State Government is quick to approve industrial projects for the Gladstone region, but is not interested in helping our community deal with the strain on existing infrastructure which comes as a result of these multi-million dollar investments," Cr Sellers said.
"While the State Government lines its pockets with money generated within the Gladstone region, our community is left alone to deal with the side effects such as housing shortages, the rise in housing and rental costs, lack of hospital resources, and overburdened roads."
Cr Sellers said the Newman Government had gone against its own directive by giving the cold shoulder to the Gladstone Region.
"Despite Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney's previous assertions that spending would be directed to the areas with the most pressing problems, and where the biggest cumulative impact of resource development is occurring, somehow the Gladstone Region did not qualify," Cr Sellers said.
"Rather than pouring all of our energy into applying for funding assistance under the State Government's program, Council might as well have been buying entries into tonight's $100 million Oz Lotto draw.
Cr Sellers said several of the projects which had been deemed to be of pressing need for other regions were minor concerns compared to the Gladstone Region's needs, including the Philip Street Communities Precinct which Council had hoped to fund with State Government assistance.
"I find it totally incomprehensible that one of Australia's most productive areas when it comes to generating wealth, let alone one of Queensland's, cannot receive one iota of assistance to deal with rapid population growth and burgeoning infrastructure needs.
"Council will not take this decision lightly and is not going to back down without a fight.
"We will be making our thoughts on this matter more than clear to Mr Newman, Mr Seeney and their colleagues and we will not give up until this State Government recognises its duty to the Gladstone Region."