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Budget Backhand – Glass House Projects on the “Go Slow”

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

After conveniently delaying the State Budget until after the election, last week the State Labor Government laid out their financial roadmap for the next four years for Queensland.  And it came with a few surprises.

“For starters, after telling everyone they would borrow $4 billion, Annastacia Palaszczuk is actually borrowing $28 billion of Queenslanders money, raising the state debt to $130 billion and leaving little to show for it, especially here in the Glass House electorate,” said Glass House MP Andrew Powell.

“During 2020, in the lead up to the election, Labor demonstrated how little they care for the Glass House electorate, committing to just two projects – two important and long overdue commitments, but still only two.”

Labor committed to upgrade Maleny-Kenilworth Road between Lees Road and Booloumba Creek at Cambroon and to constructing a cycleway between Beerburrum and Landsborough, beginning with a section between Glasshouse Mountains and Beerwah.

“But the recent budget has shown locals will be waiting years before they see anything on either project!”

“The Maleny-Kenilworth Road upgrades will cost $4.9 million. To date, Labor have spent only $53,000 of that and only allocated a further $447,000 for the 2020/21 financial year – presumably for final design work.”

“The actual construction is not budgeted to start until sometime in the 2022/23 or even 2023/24 financial years. In other words, locals could be left waiting a further four years!  The people of Conondale, Cambroon and Kenilworth have every right to feel duped.  The media announcement by the Government earlier this year led everyone, myself included, to believe we’d see shovels in the ground within twelve months.  It’s simply not good enough!”

Similarly, the Beerburrum to Landsborough cycleway has a total cost of $6.5 million.  In the 2020/21 financial year Labor have allocated just $200,000.  A further $700,000 will be spent in the 2021/22 financial year but the remaining balance of $5.6 million has not been budgeted until sometime in the 2022/23 – 2023/24 financial years

 “Locals deserve better than to be told ‘it’s coming’ for the next four years.  It should be delivered quickly, not dragged out to conveniently allow a ribbon-cutting in the lead up to the 2024 election!”

Disappointingly, there was a complete absence of funding for traffic lights at the intersection of Campbells Pocket and the D’Aguilar Highway and upgrades to Beerburrum Road and Mount Mee Road … all safety improvements that are desperately needed.

“It hurts to see our corner of the world treated with this kind of neglect. I will continue to fight for these vital upgrades to be delivered sooner rather than later, because your safety on our roads matters,” Mr Powell concluded.

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