Recycling is a new art form in Gympie’s share of the State Budget as the State Government hitches a ride on federal and council projects.
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said that the State Budget had ignored Gympie and made an art form of recycling, rebadging, or announcing projects primarily funded by the Federal Government or delivered by the Gympie Regional Council.
I welcome the return of the Rainbow Beach auxiliary Fire and Rescue station which has perennially bounced in and out of six State Budgets.
It’s been in, out, in, out, and it’s now back.
It was first promised in a glossy brochure five years ago in 2016.
It disappeared the following year with the funding redirected to Bundaberg to prop up a disgraced State Labor member.
It was an appalling display for pork barrelling at the expense of the Rainbow Beach community.
It made another appearance in 2019, only to be taken away in last year’s Budget which was delayed until just after the State election.
We are six Budgets down the track, and it has been dusted off to reappear in the latest glossy Budget brochure.
It’s a gold medal recycling commitment.
I welcome the commitment of $500,000 to improve water supply at Mary Valley State College.
The $549,400 to start construction of the Cooloola Coast esplanade revitalisation will be delivered by the Gympie Regional Council.
The state is making a part contribution to a council project.
The Gympie bypass must be one of the most recycled announcements ever made.
They have been constructing it for ages.
The funding for the Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra Section D construction is part of an ongoing commitment to deliver the project.
The Federal Government funds the bulk of this project or 80% of a total $1 billion spend.
It is not as if the Government doesn’t know some suggested projects for Gympie.
I frequently raise with Ministers and the Premier, and in the Parliament, local projects which need support.
There have been no identified initiatives or funding for Gympie health, schools, police, road and bridge upgrades.
The Government has missed so many opportunities on projects such as:
• Start investigation and works on raising Borumba Dam to provide water security; • New police station on the Cooloola Coast and upgrade the Imbil police station • Release of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s review of local health needs (due February 2020), Phase 1 of the Master Clinical Plan (due March, 2020); Master Clinical Plan (due end of 2020).
• Upgrade existing Gympie hospital or start planning for a new hospital.
• Ambulance station at Glenwood;
• Upgrade road and bridge infrastructure including overtaking lanes on the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach Roads; upgrade bridges on Glastonbury Road including the Eel Creek Bridge; upgrade the Mary Valley Highway or Gympie-Brooloo Road; improved street lighting at the intersection of Rainbow Beach Road and Queen Elizabeth Drive, Cooloola Cove;
• committing to and planning to build a new Gympie Fire and Rescue Station which has outgrown its current site;
• Improved train service from Gympie North to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane; • Start planning for new high schools to cater for increased regional growth; • Better support local volunteer, community, and sporting groups;
• More public housing in Gympie;
• Multipurpose facility.
When existing projects become the highlight you have a serious problem, …you lack vision.
Despite eye watering borrowings and debt, the Budget has delivered no vision for Gympie’s future.