What MP thinks of the State Budget
THE State Budget announced yesterday was disappointing for the South Burnett, with no major new announcements.
That is according Nanango MP Deb Frecklington, who said the budget was just "smoke and mirrors”.
Ms Frecklington said she was disappointed and felt the South Burnett was overlooked.
"They've re-announced the Kingaroy hospital, which was announced last year, we've seen none of the major road projects that we've been crying out for,” she said.
Most projects announced, such as the Kingaroy State High School multi-purpose hall and the Kingaroy Hospital had already started, Ms Frecklington said.
Another $20 million has been budgeted for the 2018 to 2019 financial year to continue work on the $62 million upgrade project for the Kingaroy Hospital.
This will bring the total money allocated for the hospital to $28 million.
"This is a major build. Why isn't it going to be built in this financial year?” she said.
"Our hard working nurses and staff deserve a bit more certainty and confidence over the fact that they'll get better working conditions.”
Kingaroy hospital also missed out on funding for the digital hospital rollout, which utilises various technologies to improve the speed and accuracy of patient care.
"Common sense would indicate that including digital technologies at the same time as the hospital's refurbishment would be the way to go, however, once again Kingaroy will miss out,” Ms Frecklington said.
By 2020 there will be 27 digital hospitals across Queensland, and Kingaroy is not one of them.
Limited road upgrades
State funding was allocated to the Bunya-Mountains Maidenwell Road, however it is not allocated until 2020 to 2021.
"That's not good enough, how long do we have to wait? Do we have to wait for another severe accident or another death?” Ms Frecklington said.
"It is a blatant misunderstanding of how desperate this road is needing the upgrade, the Bunya Mountains is our number one tourist destination and people also live on the road.”
There is a small budget allocated for widening and sealing an 800m section of the Byee Rd, and $6.5 million for the D'Aguilar Highway.
"But, the Burnett Highway has again missed out, with just $200,000 to widen and seal a 700m section somewhere between Goomeri and Gayndah,” Ms Frecklington said.
"It's unacceptable that this is all that has been set aside for the Burnett, especially in light of the recent fatalities.”
Extra fees and taxes
Every Queenslander will be affected by the $2.2 billion worth of tax haul, she said.
There will be five new taxes, four new fees, predicted higher unemployment and a predicted massive debt haul, Ms Frecklington said.
The budget's allocated waste levy is also a concern, with every Queenslander expected to pay the $1.3 billion haul, she said.
"The budget is a blatant disregard for regional areas, in terms of vegetation management and disregard for farmers and the people that make our food,” Ms Frecklington said.