Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney. Chrissy Harris

Seeney defends rejection of Gladstone's application

THE State Government has defended its rejection of the Gladstone region's application for cash under Royalties for Regions.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the first round of the Royalties for Regions program was intended as a "pilot round".

Gladstone Regional Mayor was scathing of the decision last week, branding the government "incompetent" after hearing the news.

Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham questioned the rejection in parliament yesterday.

Mr Seeney said the program is "playing catch-up" after negligence by the previous government.

"The program we put in place this year was very much a pilot round," Mr Seeney said. "It was a pilot project. It was about setting up the mechanisms to make sure that in the future as more money is made available, we are able to channel that money to the resource regions."

Mr Seeney also said a decision had been made to focus on communities which "clearly did not have the capacity to respond to the growth pressures".

Those reasons will bring little comfort to the council, which might wonder why those factors weren't stated clearly before the application process.

The council had believed its application was strong.

For more than a year, it has been has been frantically trying to win funding for a desperately needed retirement village on Phillips St.

The council was also rejected from a Federal Government program this year.

"Unfortunately the dire financial circumstances left by the Bligh government meant only $60million could be allocated this financial year for Royalties for the Regions," Mr Sweeney said. He said the program will be extended as more funding becomes available.



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