The federal government will be kicked out of the Haughton Pipeline project after Townsville-based federal LNP MP Phillip Thompson broke his promise to deliver $195 million for Stage 2.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the state government will fund the project itself rather than let Mr Thompson, the MP for Herbert, get away with ripping off the people of Townsville.
“It turns out that Phillip Thompson’s promise is worthless, giving $195 million with the one hand but taking back $156 million with the other through a GST clawback that hurts Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is doing everything we can to unite and recover from COVID-19, supporting businesses and creating jobs right across the state.
“We’re managing the health response and that means we’re delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“Now, more than ever we need to invest in critical infrastructure to create jobs, and that $156 million would create around 500 jobs for north Queenslanders.
“The people of Townsville need more than the measly $39 million the federal government is offering for this project, so we have taken the decision to kick them out,” he said.
“Phillip Thompson needs to stop being Canberra’s man in Townsville and start being Townsville’s voice in the south.
“I’m sick of LNP MPs like Phillip Thompson saying one thing in the north and another thing to his mates in Canberra. I’m not going to let him get away with it.
“Phillip Thompson is in default of his obligations to the people of north Queensland, and we will not let him cover it up.
“He has failed to get the GST exemption that is routinely handed out in southern states, so he should stump up or pipe down,” he said.
“The federal government are not welcome in this project, and will not be allowed in, unless they deliver the full $195 million, without any GST clawback.”
Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors Coralee O’Rourke said the last time Queensland received an exemption was in 2015, despite all other states and territories receiving exemptions for similar projects.
“It’s just not good enough for the people of north Queensland,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
We call on the federal government to provide this money to Townsville through a payment that will not be subject to a GST clawback.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said funding lost from the federal government’s GST deal would equate to around 500 jobs for Queenslanders.
“The Palaszczuk Government will not sign up to a deal that doesn’t deliver for north Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.
“The people of Townsville deserve and rightly expect the same treatment as people in southern states.
“The federal government gave New South Wales and Victoria $6.2 billion for the Snowy Hydro Scheme, and that didn’t affect their GST take by a single dollar.
“Why should north Queenslanders take a hit of $155 million?”
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the LNP government provided no-strings-attached funding for projects and disaster recovery in southern states but seemed unable to do so for Queensland.
“The only way Phillip Thompson can make this right is to ensure this $195 million is provided with no strings attached, either for this project or for vital flood recovery that they still owe to the people of Townsville,” Mr Harper said.