Labor, LNP fall short as mayor fights for 'big six' issues
SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson says he would like to see figures showing how much money Coast residents contribute to Queensland's economy, because he reckons we don't get much of it back.
With only a week left in the state election campaign, Cr Jamieson has released a score card listing the big six commitments the Sunshine Coast needs to secure its future and how Labor, the LNP, One Nation, and the Greens have performed on them.
The big six are well-known, critical projects, many of which have already been fought for over years.
- The duplication of the North Coast rail line to Nambour;
- The light rail project;
- The Mooloolah River Interchange/hospital link road;
- A convention and exhibition centre;
- The expansion of the University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium; and
- An international broadband submarine cable coming ashore on the Sunshine Coast.
So far, Labor had committed only to funding for the cable and to consider the stadium expansion. The LNP had committed some funding to the rail duplication, and the interchange and had expressed support, but no funding, for the cable. One Nation had committed funding to the rail duplication, the interchange, and the cable, was considering the stadium expansion, and was supportive of the light rail project without committing funding. The Greens offered no support or funding for any of the big six projects.
What do you think should be a priority for funding?
This poll ended on 27 November 2017.
Roads and infrastructure.
Better social services for our most vulnerable.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Asked if the lack of funding commitments, particularly from Labor, might be because the major parties did not see the Coast as a battleground where seats were likely to change hands, Cr Jamieson conceded that may be the case.
"But that's a silly way to think," he said. "There are more Labor voters on the Sunshine Coast than there are in Townsville. That's not manifested because the party is not bringing a strong enough agenda here."
More to the point, Cr Jamieson noted the Coast was Queensland's third-biggest population centre. It was paying its way and deserved to have some of that money returned to fund the critical projects that would ensure its future.
"What contribution is the Sunshine Coast making to the finances of the State of Queensland," he asked.
Cr Jamieson said he wanted the government to release figures showing how much money Sunshine Coast residents contributed to the state through things such as land tax, stamp duty, and car registration, and how much of that money came back in infrastructure and services.
"The state members should know the answer to that question and should be banging that drum all the time," he said.
"There's no doubt the Sunshine Coast pays its fair share, but it doesn't get much back in return."
Cr Jamieson suggested money contributed to state coffers by Coast people was ending up in funding war- chests as the major parties scrapped over marginal seats elsewhere in the state.
That said, Cr Jamieson said he was hopeful that, with five days left in the campaign, Labor, the LNP, and the Greens would see the sense in providing the Sunshine Coast with the funding it needed.
He urged residents to consider what the parties were offering in terms of the big six Sunshine Coast issues when heading for the ballot box.