LNP challenged on paying for $23b in election promises
THE big spending election promises have been coming thick and fast from the LNP this State Election campaign but the details on how they would be paid for have remained elusive.
Labor’s Keppel MP Brittany Lauga is concerned about what would be sacrificed by the LNP to cover its $23 billion worth of unfunded, uncosted election commitments – especially after it promised not to levy any additional taxes or raise taxes.
The LNP’s promises include $15 billion for the New Bradfield Scheme, $6.6 billion for the Bruce Highway, and locally it pledged $10 million towards Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s Convention And Sporting Hub and $25 million for Great Keppel Island infrastructure.
In the 2017 State Election, the LNP’s poor showings in CQ (fourth in Rockhampton and third in Keppel), were partly attributed to Labor’s successful campaign which reminded voters of the Campbell Newman government’s harsh funding cuts which had devastating effects on regional areas.
Seeking to capitalise on the long memories of Central Queenslanders, Ms Lauga has again raised the spectre of the LNP pursuing a “cut, sack and sell” approach towards balancing its books.
“How many teachers, nurses and police will be sacked by the LNP to fund its announcements?” Ms Lauga asked.
“The only way the LNP can pay for these ‘announcements’ is by cutting services, sacking workers and selling assets.
“It’s in the LNP’s DNA to cut, sack and sell. They’ve done it before and they will do it again.”
LNP’s candidate for Keppel Adrian de Groot sought to ease concerns saying there would be no forced redundancies or asset sales if the LNP won the State Election.
“The economy will grow by investing in job creating projects and infrastructure,” Mr de Groot said.
“We will end Labor’s waste. That’s how we will fund our promises.”
While he was in Yeppoon this week, the LNP’s deputy leader Tim Mander spoke broadly on paying for election commitments saying the party would be “funded by economic expansion and redirecting dollars from areas in which he considered Labor to have overspent”.
Mr de Groot shifted the focus back towards Ms Lauga’s government’s unwillingness to deliver a budget, citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Voters can’t trust any claims made by the Member for Keppel, especially as Labor has no budget and no economic plan for Central Queensland,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic record is the highest unemployment in Australia, the highest number of bankruptcies and the lowest business confidence.
“An LNP Government will stop Labor’s waste, such as the $527m blowout in IT project costs, and invest taxpayer money in job-creating infrastructure projects and improved services.”
He said there was an alternative to Labor’s years of economic failure and worsening public services.
“An LNP Government will build new assets like the New Bradfield Scheme that will be built and owned by Queenslanders,” the Keppel candidate said.
“The LNP will four-lane the Bruce Highway by forging a 15-year investment partnership with the Federal Government, with an LNP Government contributing $440m towards the project every year.
“The benefits of a four-lane Bruce Highway will be vast, including 100,000 new jobs for Queensland.
“The LNP’s economic plan will stimulate the economy, create a decade of secure jobs and drag Queensland out of recession.”