Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan at the Proserpine River.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan at the Proserpine River. inge hansen

Parliament chases disaster relief

A LABOR plan to put pressure on LNP Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan to vote for a Labor motion put forward Thursday backfired when Mr Costigan was taken ill.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad put forward a motion calling on the LNP Federal Government to fund its share of the requested Category D package, $110million towards repairing damaged caused by Cyclone Debbie earlier this year.

The vote passed, but Mr Costigan was not present when the motion was presented. He said: "I didn't see it or hear it. I was impaired due to illness before Labor announced their intentions.

"Had I been in the chamber I would have blasted the mongrels.

"I have not been afraid to stick it to the PM. And I am certainly not going to let people forget how Palaszczuk and state Labor shafted us with the state budget after the cyclone."

Member for Mackay Julianne Gilbert said all politicians from the area wanted the Federal funding.

She said "the member for Whitsunday stands up for his electorate, he is desperate to get this funding for his people."

Ms Trad said: "After Tropical Cyclone Debbie, we know that these communities have been doing it tough and what they need is they need the state and the federal government working together to help them in their economic recovery.

"The Queensland Government has made it clear our funding is secured, it's in the state budget, it's up to the Federal Government now to come to the party, to reassess their evaluation of this package and to make sure that these communities can count on them in their time of need.

"I want to reassure the communities in the Whitsunday, Rockhampton and Mackay that we are absolutely committed to making sure that the funding that we have allocated gets out the door as soon as possible.

"But we can only do half the job with half the amount of money so we're again calling on the LNP, the Turnbull Government, to start treating Queensland with respect, start treating these disaster-affected communities with the respect, care and attention they need so they can get back on their feet.

"Just look at Shute Harbour, which is still a mess, that still needs to be rebuilt.

"We know in Mackay the Bluewater Trail has been absolutely devastated and we need to fix this up.

"We need to work together to fix this up so today is an opportunity for the Queensland Parliament, both sides, for a unified position, a unified strong message being sent to Canberra, asking for Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider his evaluation of the package for these disaster affected communities.

"We know that a strong unified message from the Queensland Parliament will certainly have a big impact.

"I've been speaking to the mayors of the disaster affected communities and they are desperate, these communities are desperate for some movement from the Federal Government.

"A unified strong message from the Queensland Parliament need to be sent and it's important to remember there are LNP members in these affected seats.

"Jason Costigan, the Member for Whitsunday, we know he sent the Prime Minister a letter and he made some very strong statements up in the Whitsundays around the Federal Government meeting their obligation to fund this economic resilience package. It's time for him to walk the walk and when he goes into the Queensland Parliament this afternoon, to make sure that Canberra know Queensland wants them to act fairly and to help these communities in their recovery."

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