Friday, 17 May 2024

Senator Susan McDonald

Shadow Minister for Resources

Shadow Minister for Northern Australia

Senator for Queensland


Phil Thompson OAM

Federal Member for Herbert

Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence

Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Industry

Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Personnel


The Hon. Warren Entsch

Federal Member for Leichhardt


Andrew Willcox

Federal Member for Dawson

Federal Coalition representatives from North Queensland claim regional areas are being punished for not voting Labor as community leaders express shock at Anthony Albanese’s Budget this week.

Shadow Minister for Resources and for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, Member for Herbert, Phil Thompson, Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch and Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox are still poring over Budget papers since the document was released on Tuesday night, but it has made for grim reading.

“North Queenslanders have shown they don’t buy Federal Labor’s radical policies, and for that they’re being frozen out of important funding,” said Senator McDonald.

“Every year Labor has been in government they have cancelled region-building water projects in the North and ignored community leaders’ advice on road spending and major infrastructure.

“North Queensland has the space, climate, resources, people and natural assets so important to all of Australia but it’s been treated like an afterthought as Labor chases votes in the south.

“This is a bad Budget that ignores regional and remote Australia. It treats the symptoms of the issues this country is facing, but not the causes.”

Mr Thompson said: “I know how hard the cost-of-living challenges are in Townsville, and while Labor’s delivering some of the Coalition Government’s tax cuts, inflation and, in turn, your bills, will continue to rise.

“Our city’s number one issue has been overlooked, without a dollar allocated to community safety, despite our calls to reinstate cuts to crime prevention programs.

“The Albanese Labor Government also rejected the scope of the $80M Reef HQ redevelopment set out by the former Coalition Government, demanding a full knock-down rebuild without allocating even a cent to its development.  Now we’ve confirmed there’s nothing in the budget, it means we have no idea when it will be rebuilt – or even if it ever will.

“Our region deserves better and I will keep fighting to ensure our region gets its fair share.”

Mr Willcox said: “Once again the regions have missed out under this Labor Government, because they simply do not understand regional areas in this country.

“This was meant to be a budget for the Bruce Highway, instead it was a budget for the South East corner.

“During a cost-of-living crisis, their answer is to just throw money into increasing inflation.”

Mr Entsch said: “There’s been no commitment from the Government on the Cairns Water Security project, they’ve had the proposal, they know how critical it is – we’re going to run into water shortages within two years and we get nothing in the budget.

“All we get is lies and excuses from local Labor Senator Nita Green, who decided to attack the Cairns Regional Council instead of backing the project and advocating for her community.”