Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt have hit out at the state Budget with the Federal MP saying it failed to deliver “anything substantial” for Bundaberg. Picture: Dan Peled
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt have hit out at the state Budget with the Federal MP saying it failed to deliver “anything substantial” for Bundaberg. Picture: Dan Peled

SHOW US THE MONEY: To and fro continues over budget detail

ALMOST a week on from the state budget being delivered in Parliament, roads, the Bundaberg Hospital and the Bundaberg East Flood Levee are still proving points of contention.

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt have both hit out at the State Government's budget, with the Federal MP saying it failed to deliver "anything substantial" for Bundaberg.

Mr Bennett delivered his budget reply speech in Parliament on Thursday night.

In his speech Mr Bennett labelled the budget as having a "lack of ambition for jobs".

Mr Bennett while there was very little detail about the new Alcohol and Other Drugs Rehabilitation Facility, he welcomed the $15 million investment.

 

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett questioned some of the funding commitments for Bundaberg that were delivered in the Queensland State Budget.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett questioned some of the funding commitments for Bundaberg that were delivered in the Queensland State Budget.

 

However, while Mr Bennett also welcomed the $500,000 which would be used to improve facilities at the Bundaberg Hospital site and alcohol and drug support, he said residents were promise a new Level 5 Hospital and questioned where the rest of the funding was.

"Our community was also promised the delivery of a brand new level 5 hospital, but all I can see allocated in the budget is half a million dollars which is supposedly being shared between improving facilities at the Bundaberg Hospital site and new promised alcohol and drug support, which is welcome," he said.

"Where is the rest of the money we desperately need to complete this critical project that we kept hearing over and over during the campaign would be delivered?"

A spokesperson for Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the government was committed to delivering the new hospital for Bundaberg.

"The Palaszczuk Government continues to meet its commitments on Bundaberg Hospital.

A preliminary business case has been completed - as committed in 2017," the spokesperson said.

"A detailed business case into a new state-of-the-art public hospital is now underway - as committed last year.

"In July this year the Premier also announced the preferred site for a new hospital, west of Kay McDuff Drive.

"Developing a business case for a hospital is complex and highly detailed, and it's essential we take the time needed to get it right.

"Concept designs will be released early in the new year and the business case is due to Government for consideration next year.

 

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the funding for upgrades to the Isis Highway were funded in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the funding for upgrades to the Isis Highway were funded in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.

 

"I join the Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith in encouraging the people of Bundaberg to get involved in the public consultation and contribute to the proposed hospital design."

Mr Bennett also questioned funding for upgrades to the Isis Highway, taking to social media saying the $42.5 million promise was missing from the budget.

However, Bundaberg MP Tom Smith described the post as "embarrassing" and "misleading" and clarified in Parliament on Thursday night that the funding was there.

"I would also like to table a document from the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program which clearly displays funding allocations for 2020-21 and onwards as well," he said.

"The Palaszczuk Labor government has invested in road upgrades across Bundaberg and will

deliver the $42.5 million Isis Highway upgrades."

Meanwhile, while Mr Bennett welcomed the government's commitments to the Bundaberg East Flood Levee, Mr Pitt said the $42.5 million promise was reliant on the Federal Government coming up with the other half.

 

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said all he knew about the Bundaberg East Flood Levee was what was announced in the election campaign and what he had read in the media.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said all he knew about the Bundaberg East Flood Levee was what was announced in the election campaign and what he had read in the media.

 

"All I know about the proposal is what was announced during the state election campaign and what I have read in the media. I have not seen a proposal, however local residents have approached my office with a number of concerns about the proposed levee," he said.

"The flood which devastated Bundaberg was in 2013 and yet, here we are almost at the end of 2020 with no flood mitigation measures in place."

 

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