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Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Page: 120


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (09:47): The budget handed down by the Queensland LNP government yesterday, together with that of the Abbott coalition government in Canberra, shows that the coalition is not interested in jobs, in services or in cost-of-living issues faced by Queenslanders. The Abbott government has terminated the national partnership on certain concessions for pension concession card holders and seniors card holders, at a cost to the Queensland public.

That will save the Abbott government $1.3 billion over four years. Tim Nicholls, the Queensland Treasurer, when he got up yesterday, made it clear that the Queensland government was cutting seniors' subsidies and concessions. This will make it even harder for Queenslanders. The cost of using public transport will be higher, your next power bills will be higher and your water bills will be higher, thanks to a combination of the Queensland LNP government in that state and the Abbott coalition government here in Canberra.

They ignored the wishes of Queenslanders in terms of their LNP propaganda survey. They ignored the wishes of Queenslanders by proceeding with billions of dollars worth of asset sales, which will mean that householders will face even higher electricity prices, worse services and job losses as a priority is given to making profits.

Campbell Newman promised he would get the unemployment rate down to four per cent. In fact, the Queensland budget yesterday tells us that the unemployment rate in Queensland is 5.25 per cent. In my area—the Ipswich and West Moreton region—it is 12.3 per cent. I look forward to hearing what the LNP members for Ipswich and Ipswich West have to say about the budget.

Ipswich suffered as a result of this budget. We have seen the infrastructure spend in the Ipswich region go down by $318 million. I note in the Queensland LNP state budget yesterday that there was not a dollar—not a brass razoo—for the Darra to Rocklea section of the Ipswich motorway. That have opposed that upgrade.

So I give credit to the Abbott coalition government. They have matched our commitment in the budget of $279 million towards that final section of the Ipswich motorway, but they could not even get their colleagues and comrades in George Street to come up with their share to kick-start the project. The coalition opposed the upgrade of the Ipswich motorway from Dinmore to Darra when they were in power federally. We did it with $3 billion, but the federal government's mates in George Street will not lift a finger to do the final stage. They never talk about it down here in Canberra at all. We never see that wonderful Queenslander, the Deputy Prime Minister, ever talking about this vital project for all of south-east Queensland, including Brisbane and Ipswich.