Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Queensland Budget ‘another black hole’

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The 2023-24 Queensland State Budget, delivered last week, has been harshly condemned by Member for Condamine Pat Weir, who says the people of his electorate have again missed out on significant investment.

Progress will not be rapid on the long-awaited Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline as only $13.4 million out of a $273.1 million total has been allocated to this budget.

The pipeline will connect Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton to the Toowoomba bulk water supply.

Constructed, owned and operated by Seqwater, it is expected to be ready in less than four years time, by early 2027.

Mr Weir said the Condamine electorate has missed out on funding to assist in keeping people safe.

“Nothing of any significance for our roads which are in disrepair wherever you look, nothing to stop the crime wave we are experiencing and nothing to boost infrastructure,” Mr Weir said.

“The only road is a section of the Gore Highway near the Toowoomba-Millmerran and Toowoomba-Athol roads of which $1 million is allocated now and the rest will be spent who knows when of the total $23.4 million.

“I am sure each of you has travelled on some unsafe roads in the Condamine electorate.

“This budget proves Queenslanders can’t trust the Palaszczuk Labor government to fix the chaos and crisis impacting their lives every day.”

Electricity rebate

Rising electricity prices are set to be cushioned by a $550 rebate on electricity bills for all households in 2023-24.

About 205,000 eligible small businesses will receive a $650 rebate on electricity bills in 2023-24.

Elderly and vulnerable households will receive total support of $1,072 for their electricity bills, combining a $700 cost-of-living rebate and $372 through Queensland’s existing Electricity Rebate Scheme.

A typical family is expected to receive a $429 increase in electricity bills over the next year.

Mayor’s response

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio welcomed funding commitments that were announced as part of the Queensland Budget.

“Health, education and infrastructure are the backbone of our economy and have all received funding which will ensure our Region remains a powerhouse in the coming years,” Mayor Antonio said.

“I’m particularly pleased to see $50 million in the budget to progress plans on a new Toowoomba Hospital.

“In addition to this there has been funding set aside for delivery of a new road and rail intermodal facility (InterLinkSQ located at Charlton) to improve productivity in the transfer of freight between trucks and trains.”

Mayor Antonio said Council would continue to fight for more guaranteed funding from both the State and Federal Governments.

“Communities are getting less than their fair share of funding and it is ratepayers who will be left to pick up the tab if this trend continues,” he said.

“With projects like the dam safety upgrades on our books, Council is preparing for an unparalleled level of spending in the coming decade and requires our fair share of funding to achieve our community goals and ambitions.

“There also needs to be more money allocated to local government through the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme and Works for Queensland program as these are essential streams of funding that allow Council to build and maintain critical infrastructure such as our parks, community facilities and roads.”

On Our Selection News 22 June 2023

This article appeared in On Our Selection News, 22 June 2023.


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