Donaldson tells Pitt: cross the floor or don't come home
MEMBER for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson has challenged Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt to cross the floor for Bundaberg businesses or "he shouldn't bother coming back from Canberra".
Ms Donaldson said the Federal Government was yesterday planning a motion to condemn the Palaszczuk Government's Buy Queensland policy.
The policy, released last week, is designed to give local businesses priority for government spending.
While roundly applauded by business, it has come under fire from people including Federal Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, who says it has the potential to jeopardise free trade.
Ms Donaldson yesterday posted on Facebook about the motion.
"Keith Pitt needs to cross the floor and show he's on the side of Bundaberg businesses," she said.
"The Federal Government is cynically stirring up opposition to this policy, and I'm calling on Keith Pitt to cross the floor and vote against it," Ms Donaldson told the NewsMail.
"I want to see Mr Pitt put the interests of our community ahead of the political agenda of the Turnbull Government.
"The new Buy Queensland First procurement strategy is a vital step to bring jobs to Bundaberg.
"When the Palaszczuk Government invests money into this community, we want to make sure that it stays here to stimulate the local economy.
"It's not OK that perfectly suitable local businesses and suppliers are passed over for work they are more than capable of doing.
"That's why this government has done something about it, and we make no apology for it."
Mr Pitt said no motion about the issue had been put to the floor of parliament.
"But that's not to say we won't call out the Queensland ALP Government's ludicrous position, which threatens our local sugar industry, the local horticulture industry and jobs in Queensland,' he said.
"If Australia doesn't hold up its part of export agreements why would other countries hold up theirs?
"Where would our local horticulturalists, farmers, universities and other service providers sell their goods and services overseas if the Member for Bundaberg causes a loss of trade with other nations?"
Ms Palaszczuk was not backing away yesterday, appointing Housing Minister Mick de Brenni as a new "regional procurement champion".
She said the latest data showed Queensland exports had increased by 48% to a record $65.9 billion over the last 12 months.
"Getting advice from Mr Ciobo about growing trade would be like Laurie Daley telling Kevvie Walters how to win State of Origin."