A staggering $15.3 billion golden egg from coal royalties has seen the State Labor Government splash the cash in yesterday’s Budget on major infrastructure projects in the southeast, renewable energy projects and one-off energy rebates.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, has labelled Labor’s Budget smoke and mirrors to distract Queenslanders from the cost-of-living pressures they are currently facing.
Ms Landry said the lack of any new announcements for Central Queensland, despite the majority of the coal royalties being derived from the region, is a slap in the face for regional Queensland.
“We’ve seen no additional funding committed for the Rockhampton Ring Road, other than half of the funding committed being put on the table.
“The Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road upgrades finally has money being delivered after I successfully lobbied and delivered $64 million in funding three years ago.
“While the remaining funds for the Rookwood Weir is there to finish this project I spearheaded along with my colleague, Senator Matthew Canavan, and former Member for Flynn, Mr Ken O’Dowd,” Ms Landry said.
The Treasurer announced $89 billion will be spent on Labor’s ‘Big Build’ across the state.
Ms Landry said the only ‘Big Build’ Capricornia will see is $1.208 billion in renewable energy projects which will decimate agricultural land and destroy native vegetation thriving with fauna.
“This State Government are blinded by their goals to hit their renewable energy targets and are prepared to sink $208 million into CS Energy to invest in windfarms in Central Queensland.
“A further $1 billion has been allocated to the ecological disaster waiting to happen that is the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Scheme. If their plans align, the stunning Eungella and Pioneer Valley will be set for destruction by 2026-27
“The sheer hypocrisy of this government to claim the resources sector is decimating land, yet we see they are more than willing to wipe out native vegetation and prime agricultural land to meet their net zero targets,” Ms Landry said.
The resources sector is solely responsible for the State offering one-off electricity bill relief, with more than $15 billion poured into the government’s coffers.
Ms Landry said while the rebate will offer some relief to struggling Queenslanders, what is urgently needed is investment in cheap and reliable energy.
“Money is being funnelled from the coal sector and into renewables which is notoriously unreliable and expensive.
“It’s also extremely disappointing to see there is no relief on offer to assist with easing the pressure small businesses face every day,” Ms Landry said.