State budget criticised: Rookwood Weir left in the dark
BUDGET reaction has been swift with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry warning it could stifle the creation of new jobs for local families.
Ms Landry said while there were "a few sweeteners thrown out there", the state budget was once again all about the south-east corner and Cross River Rail.
Her reaction came as the state budget hit the region's coal and gas sectors with higher taxes.
Ms Landry said the move sent "bad signals" to companies looking to invest in coal and gas exports in Central Queensland.
"By applying a 25 per cent hike in levies on gas production in Queensland, Treasurer Jackie Trad, has virtually erected a 'closed for business' sign in the face of our gas export sector," she said.
"This is something a lot of people rely on in regional Queensland and I think it is going to have a significant impact on the gas sector. Particularly when Queensland is one of the areas that does produce a lot of gas.
"This will kill off the chance of creating more new jobs for local families.
"Ms Trad is also holding our CQ coal sector to ransom - demanding coal mines pay higher excises to pay-off state debt. This also spells less jobs for locals."
Ms Landry said the Treasurer wanted to take $30 million out of the voluntary infrastructure fund that was supposed to be topped up by coal companies.
"The problem is that no coal company has chipped into this fund, meaning Jackie Trad has written a $30 million cheque to herself, which is destined to bounce," she said.
"It is a reckless fiscal manoeuvre akin to writing out cheques knowing there is no money in the bank to cash it."
Ms Landry said even former ALP Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson had labelled Ms Trad's tax grab on resources as another Labor "mistake".
She further criticised the state budget for failing to fund anything for drought relief and leaving Rookwood Weir in the dark.
"Jacki Trad has announced nothing to help farmers in drought-affected communities," she said.
"The Federal Government has already put $176 million on the table to build Rookwood Weir - that would double agricultural production and secure water - but the State Government won't get on and build it.
"If it was Cross River Rail it would be up and going by now.
"The NSW State Government just announced $355 million for drought support. We have people here in Queensland who have not seen rain for more than eight years.
"What is going to happen in the south east corner when they have to start paying more for their meat, fruit and vegetables?
"It's clear that the State Government has no clear vision for agriculture."
Ms Landry did praise the number of projects going to regional Queensland, especially and was hopeful to see some money for the Keppel Bay Sailing Club.
"It's a project I put $20 million on the table for and if we can get that going it's hundreds of jobs for the region, a thousand-seat convention centre and I think that would be excellent for tourism in the area," she said.
"I am also pleased with the announcement of the $200 million towards the Ring Road and the third bridge, that is really important.
"Obviously they have paid attention after the results of the federal election, but I will be keen to see where it is actually going to be spent and what they are going to spend it on.
"Let's hope it is on some great projects around this area, so we can get things moving."