Turnbull Budget must not penalise Queenslanders

Published Monday, 02 May, 2016 at 01:07 PM

Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Treasurer Curtis Pitt says Queenslanders will have their chance at the coming federal election to pass judgement on any attempt to short-change the state on infrastructure spending in tomorrow night’s Federal Budget.

“If NSW and Victoria receive the lion’s share of a suggested $5 billion for public transport infrastructure in the Federal Budget, then Queenslanders will have every right to feel drastically short-changed,” Mr Pitt said.

“On population share alone we would expect $1 billion of that amount and we have an essential major project in Cross River Rail that should be supported.

“There seems to be no sound basis for federal allocations, with WA recently gifted $500 million for road projects and that was not tied to asset sales.

“If the Budget allocations for infrastructure are to reward states engaging in asset sales, then Queensland voters will make their views known at the coming federal poll.

“Voters spoke clearly at the January 2015 state election on asset sales.

“Queensland should not be penalised for the simple fact that the Palaszczuk Government is keeping its election commitment not to sell our revenue-generating government-owned corporations.

“The LNP in Queensland has supposedly changed its tune on asset sales since the state election so there is no policy for selling off income-generating assets in Queensland, and we shouldn’t be punished for that.

“In the past federal governments of all political colours have lived up to their responsibilities to support infrastructure projects in the states and territories.

“It was the Abbott-Hockey government that changed that approach and tied funding to asset sales.

“If the Turnbull Government is now seeking to do the same, then it proves Malcolm Turnbull is no different to Tony Abbott.

“Scott Morrison has a clear choice — either he allocates a fair share of federal infrastructure funds to Queensland in tomorrow night’s Federal Budget or he abandons our state.

“If we are short-changed then every Queenslander will not have to wait long to tell him and the Prime Minister how they feel about being starved of their fair share of funds for essential projects,” Mr Pitt said.

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