The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

17 September 2012

Newman puts Queensland Reconstruction into Doubt

Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Senator for Queensland

Campbell Newman's budget has a cruel kick for Queenslanders still rebuilding from the devastating floods and Cyclone Yasi.

Hidden in Mr Newman's budget papers is a secret plan to break up the Queensland Reconstruction Authority years ahead of the expected completion of the rebuilding program.

All while there is still $3.4 billion worth of reconstruction projects to be completed, just for the 2011 floods and cyclones.

This is a slap in the face for hundreds of communities across our state that are relying on the QRA to lead the rebuilding of infrastructure that was devastated by natural disasters.

Mr Newman lied about public service job cuts before the election, and he failed to tell Queenslanders he'd disband the very organisation that's charged with rebuilding our state.

It means projects like the Bruce Highway, the Cardwell foreshore and Cunningham's Gap, as well as billions of dollars' worth of other projects across the state, are now at risk.

As recently as Friday, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney was trying to spruik Queensland's contribution to flood recovery, all while plans were afoot to dismantle the rebuilders – the QRA.

Their budget papers also reveal a shocking 18 per cent cut to the number of staff in the QRA itself –with 22 full time jobs cut by Campbell Newman.

Without the QRA, the Commonwealth will have a far less assurance that the billions of dollars being spent in Queensland are being administrated properly. This would also impact our assurance of value for taxpayer's money in spending these record sums of cash.

The Gillard Government has always wanted to rebuild Queensland as quickly as possible, with the best value for money.

It is worrying in the extreme that Premier Newman's deep service cuts have extended to what should be a no-go zone – the rebuilding of Queensland.

Campbell Newman's budget cuts are just the curtain raiser for Tony Abbott's plans.