Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter says the Morrison Turnbull Budget does nothing positive for North Queensland.
“Not one more permanent job created. Nothing in here for Nth Qld projects – So there is nothing, not a single significant item for Nth Qld in the next 12 months. There is not one dollar in this project for the four great projects (“make-money projects” as opposed to “transferred money”) for Hells Gates, Galilee rail line, YIPIPI waterway.”
Mr Katter has also slammed moves by the Federal Government to back further away from a Royal Commission into the banking and finance sector with the announcement of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority – one-stop shop for financial complaints.
“We have already got the ombudsman’s in plague proportions. To use an expression from my old cattle industry days ‘they are as useful as mammary glands on a bull’. So we are going to be putting out a lot more money to have a lot more of them. Really this is about, to bleed off steam placating all of us demanding a Royal Commission.”
He has however welcomed the New Regional Growth Fund $472m over 4 years, which includes $200m of this to go into the existing Building Better Regions Programme.
“We want our people in Nth Qld to put forward aggressive and sophisticated applications and we plead with people that regardless of their political views they ensure they have the backing of the three levels of Government for these applications. We are not getting our fair share here, and it is partly our fault.”
The budget also sees millions of dollars of extra funding will be made available to local councils after Treasurer Scott Morrison honoured a promise to restore the indexation of financial assistance grants.
Former treasurer Joe Hockey placed the three-year freeze on the indexation component of the grants in the 2014 Federal Budget, wiping nearly $1 billion from council projects nationwide.
Councils say they have had to make tough decisions over the past three years on where to cut back to adjust to reduced revenue levels and have welcomed the Morrison move.
The Federal Government traditionally provides financial assistance grants to councils right across the nation to assist with the costs of providing essential local services to communities.
The release overnight of the 2017-2018 sees 35% of its total devoted to welfare and social security, cuts family benefits to more than 100,000 families and increases taxes by $21 billion.
It also delivers bigger increases to debt and to spending and is being described by conservatives as the Budget to reverse the failing political fortunes of a Prime Minister.