Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth and MP for Mt Isa Robbie Katter.
Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth and MP for Mt Isa Robbie Katter. Facebook

Regional program is 'a start': KAP

KATTER'S Australian Party has described Labor's $200 million program specifically for regional areas "a start".

Treasurer Curtis Pitt brought forward the Building Our Regions scheme to this year's budget rather than the original plan of kicking it off in the 2016-17 financial year.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said starting it a year sooner would create much-needed create jobs and investment.

The program includes $60 million for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme, $70 million for the Regional Capital Fund, $15 million for Remote Communities Infrastructure Fund and $55 million for Royalties for Resource Producing Communities Fund.

Mt Isa MP Robbie Katter said the scheme was much better than the Newman government program it replaced, Royalties for the Regions, which he described as a joke.

Although it was originally intended for councils in mining and resource areas, by the end of the Newman government's term all councils and government departments could apply for funding.

But Mr Katter said more money was needed to help struggling industries in western Queensland.

He criticised the government for its big-ticket items on the coast and south-east Queensland and accused it of neglecting rural areas.

"We need much more effort from the government, or we're facing crisis in rural and regional areas," Mr Katter said.

Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth said the Katter party was seeing its areas die.

He said not enough was in the budget for the sugar, cattle and agriculture sectors.

- APN NEWSDESK


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