$1.5B WAR CHEST: One Nation launches Coast assault
ONE NATION Queensland leader Steve Dickson has unveiled a $1.5 billion Sunshine Coast spending spree to be funded by axing State Government works contracts.
The Buderim MP has funding for schools, car parks, sporting grounds and major infrastructure projects lined up for the region, and plans to spend more than $105 million in his own electorate.
He denies it's a case of pork barrelling, rather, delivering to the Coast what the region has been missing out on for decades from the two major parties.
If One Nation wins government in its own right, or holds the balance of power after the November 25 state election, Mr Dickson plans to spend the war chest in the first term of the new government.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily, Mr Dickson said he'd identified up to $3 billion in savings to be made each year by dumping the State Government's current procurement policy, which sees contracts for public works handed out to a select number of preferred suppliers.
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By taking works out to the market Mr Dickson said he could make the savings, and in doing so, return $1.3 billion a year back to the three state-owned energy suppliers, funding he said was normally taken by the government as consolidated revenue.
By doing so, he said energy prices could be slashed by 20% across the state.
He also vowed to dump South Brisbane's Cross River Rail project, using the $5.4 billion for that project to instead fund five "state-building" infrastructure projects.
"That is the first requirement of balance of power for us, you kill Cross River Rail," Mr Dickson said.
The state-building projects include $850 million towards the Beerburrum-Nambour rail duplication, almost $2 billion to build dams and weirs in North Queensland and $1.5 billion for a coal-fired power station in the state's north.
Mr Dickson also pledged to put $700 million into expanding Borumba Dam into a facility the same size as Wivenhoe Dam, drought-proofing south east Queensland.
Among the hit list set to be released to the public this week, Mr Dickson plans to provide $100 million in funding for a regional arts and exhibition centre, $440 million for the Mooloolah River Interchange and $6.5 million for a school chaplaincy program.
He said he would throw $150 million at the Mooloolah River Interchange "straight up" to get pre-loading and filling started, as it would take two years before road can be laid on top.
In his own electorate he intends to splash the cash, with $12 million to go a new Power Road Bridge, $10 million to a new car park in Buderim behind the new post office, as well as $6 million for Sippy Downs community facilities.
Schools are set to win big if he delivers on the pledged funds, with $22 million set aside for Brightwater State School to allow it to expand, as he said it was already above capacity.
Mountain Creek State High School would also receive $20 million to go towards upgrades.
Mr Dickson said schools funding would come out of the education department budget, with money to be reallocated within the budget, and topped up through the preferred supplier savings.
Bloomhill Cancer Centre is set to score $2.5 million for infrastructure and Mr Dickson pledged to provide $250,000 a year to cover the centre's operational expenses.
A PCYC/Goodlife-style centre is also on the cards for Brightwater, with Mr Dickson to put $5 million towards a new facility for the area, while a number of sporting groups including Maroochydore Cricket Club, Buderim Wanderers Football Club and Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Club are set for a funding boost.
"We're living within our means," Mr Dickson said, adding part of the $3 billion annual savings would be used to pay down the state's debt.
"We're (Sunshine Coast) going to be the employment capital of Queensland.
"Our people have missed out for way too long."
Recent Galaxy polling had shown a surge in support for Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in Queensland.
Just 0.9% of people polled at the 2015 state election would've voted for One Nation, but that figure had this week climbed to 18% prepared to vote for the controversial Senator's party.
Mr Dickson said he couldn't predict the outcome of the election, or his own seat, but the maths was indicating that "we will end up with the balance of power".
"We will be the equivalent of the upper house," he said.
The Hit List:
- Buderim Men's Shed: $500,000
- Maroochydore Junior Rugby League Club: $3.25m
- Sunshine Coast Arts and Exhibition Centre: $100m
- Krauss Locomotive: $500,000
- Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Club: $380,000
- Suncoast Clippers Basketball Stadium: $250,000
- Buderim car park: $10m
- Buderim Mountain State School: $3m
- Maroochydore Cricket Club: $3m
- Bloomhill Cancer Centre: $2.5m plus $250,000 per year
- Buderim Police Beat/Info centre: $2m
- Sunshine Coast Hockey Association: $350,000
- Mountain Creek State High School: $20m
- Buderim Wanderers Football Club: $3m
- Buderim Cricket Club: $1.5m
- Brightwater State School: $22m
- Mooloolah River Interchange: $440m
- Power Road Bridge: $12m
- Community/Sport centre: $20m
- Brightwater PCYC/Goodlife: $5m
- Morcombe Foundation HQ: $300,000
- Sippy Downs Community Facilities: $6m
- North Coast Rail Line Duplication: $850m