Newman, Bligh contest heats up

IT was all about infrastructure and services needs when Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman whirled into town yesterday.

Mr Newman, who was in town for just the morning, focused on the whole of Queensland

Meanwhile, Ms Bligh, who is in Gladstone for three days, focused soley on Gladstone’s needs.

Neither would admit they followed the other, with Mr Newman stating he no longer pre-empted visits to places in Queensland after Deputy Leader Paul Lucas had followed him a few times, and Ms Bligh stating she was flattered Mr Newman had followed her.

LNP Leader Campbell Newman announced that parliamentary leader and shadow minister for state development, infrastructure, planning and reconstruction Jeff Seeney will embark on a period of intensive consultation and investigation into the state’s infrastructure needs. “Mr Seeney will spend the next 90 days compiling a strategic blueprint to be titled Building Queensland’s Future – Together,” Mr Newman said.

Ms Bligh also talked about infrastructure needs, particularly for the Gladstone region, while she announced a number of benefits for the region.

Ms Bligh’s announcements included a new renal dialysis unit for the Gladstone Hospital, a $1.5 million upgrade of an operating theatre funded by Queensland Gas Company (QGC) Pty Ltd, a review underway of Gladstone’s health services including an investigation into an upgrade of the emergency department, a multi-million contract to build three ferries for Gladstone and a 10-year lease of land to Gladstone Regional Council for the construction of workers’ accommodation.

Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said it was good she caught up with both.

“I think the fact that there’s going to be renal services in Gladstone finally is wonderful,” she said.

“I’m disappointed the government waited to do anything until the gas companies provided the capital.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd has welcomed the interest in Gladstone by both the Premier and LNP leader.

“The effect of a carbon tax on Central Queensland industry is of great concern and it is encouraging to hear Campbell Newman confirm that he will not support such a tax. It is time that Anna Bligh gave the same assurance,” he said

“I am disappointed that the Premier could only offer ‘someone else’s money’ with regard to the satellite dialysis unit for the Gladstone Hospital.

“The announcement was short on detail, but if that’s the best she can offer, she better try again. This hospital needs a major commitment from the government and I will continue to lobby the State Government for better treatment for Gladstone residents.”

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