Housing, roads and rego: what do our candidates want?
WITH Gympie to hit the polls on November 25, The Gympie Times asked our candidates to answer 12 questions on the region's pressing issues.
We will be presenting their responses over the next five days.
The answers from Chelle Dobson (ONP), Tracey McWilliam (ALP), Tony Perrett (LNP) and Donna Reardon (IND) are presented below, ordered by their appearance on the ballot to ensure fairness.
No response was received from Greens' candidate Roxanne Kennedy-Perriman.
Q. What would you do to improve crisis housing in Gympie?
A. CD: Strangely this is something not many wish to acknowledge as an issue for Gympie, but we need to ensure that it is not swept under the carpet. I am aware of the RSL's program for veterans, plus there are several other proposals being developed. I am supportive of anything we can do to address this social issue and will certainly pursue this.
TM: The best solution is delivering more affordable housing. Labor's landmark $1.8 billion housing strategy will deliver over 5500 new affordable homes across the state. This is the most significant investment in public housing in decades. I would work with the housing minister, Community Action and other local community groups to develop further social and emergency housing and ensure Gympie gets its fair share.
TP: We will work with the local community, community groups, local welfare agencies and non-for profit groups to maximise public housing in regional areas such as Gympie. Labor has scrapped working with local communities because of its ideological aversion to working with local communities and preference for big bureaucracy which has resulted in a waiting list of 15,000 vulnerable people in Queensland.
DR: Engage community social services with the intention to create a Community Safety hub.
Q. Is enough money being spent on infrastructure? What roads and bridges in this region need the most urgent attention?
A. CD: One Nation is committed to a program to upgrade and maintain inland regional and rural roads. We will work with the appropriate groups to prioritise the scope of works and publish in full the transport infrastructure business cases and transparently allocate key transport projects. I am committed to ensuring projects appear on the proposal list. Coondoo Bridge and a flood-free bridge over the Mary River are a priority for the Gympie electorate. I want politics to be removed from the process.
TM: Tim Nicholls and Campbell Newman slashed $600 million in road funding last time they were in Government. In contrast I'm pleased to say the Palaszczuk Labor Government has already committed to a new Coondoo Bridge and we have delivered the Cooroy to Curra upgrade. We have invested $649 million in infrastructure across the Wide Bay, directly.
TP: It's never enough. State Government- controlled roads needing the most urgent attention are the Mary Valley Highway, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach Roads, and Glastonbury Road and a bridge to improve access to the south side. We have committed $10 million to build the Coondoo Creek Bridge to a one-in-50 year flood immunity, and $100,000 to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan of the local road network for upgrading and flood-proofing arterial and sub-arterial roads.
DR: Not enough money is being spent as urgent attention is required for over-taking lanes on the Wide Bay Highway and Tin Can Bay Rd and the upgrading of the Coondoo Creek Bridge.
Q. Are car registrations too high in Queensland? What would you do to address this?
A. CD: Of course they are too high, at the latest budget hearing they were increased again. Queensland has one of the highest registration costs in Australia. One Nation did not support the latest increases and will ensure that any future increase is justified.
TM: The cost of car registration in Queensland is comparable to the rest of Australia and we also have concessions for pensioners. The Palaszczuk Government went to the state election with a commitment that we would not increase taxes beyond the level already set by the previous Govern- ment, and we have not. Revenue raised through registration fees is used to deliver much-needed road infrastructure across the state, creating jobs and improving safety and efficiency. The LNP's policy will be create black hole in roads funding up to $300 million.
TP: They are definitely too high and is one of the reasons many Queenslanders feel like they're not getting ahead. The LNP will ease the cost of living for families by freezing car rego for three years. Labor always increases rego. Under the Beattie and Bligh governments it increased by 65 per cent, under the former LNP government by 0%, and under the Palaszczuk government it increased by 10.5 per cent.
DR: Car registration is too high in Queensland. I would decrease car registration by classifying all engine size as one fixed price and implement annual RWC to increase safe vehicles on the road.