Promised cash will be spent: MP
ELECTION promises in Biloela and Moura worth almost $700,000 will be honoured, according to Federal Member for Flynn Chris Trevor, despite Government plans to axe the regional development bodies that were meant to deliver the funds.
Mr Trevor confirmed the Government will shut down the Area Consultative Committee (ACC) network - recently re-badged as Regional Development Australia (RDA) - by the end of June.
“All my pre-election commitments including the Moura Long Day Care Centre ($227,500), the Rainbow Street Sporting Field ($50,000) and the Biloela Medical Centre ($400,000) will be met as promised,” Mr Trevor said.
A timeline for the funds to be finally delivered, after 15 months of government, is still uncertain.
“My election commitments will be delivered to the community, with work progressing with the relevant stakeholders and project partners to deliver these important projects to the community as soon as possible,” Mr Trevor said.
Under Labor's proposal, ACCs will be folded into State Government agencies, but what will happen in Queensland won't be known until after the election.
“In my personal opinion there is no suggestion that the ACCs and RDA in Flynn did not do a great job, but there were problems with the Regional Partnerships Program elsewhere, which brought the whole program crashing down.
“Whatever happens with the RDAs and ACCs, regional and rural Australia, including Flynn, will still have a local voice, local choice,” Mr Trevor said.
Former Central Queensland ACCC chairman and CQ businessman Kym Mobbs said what would happen was up in the air, as whoever won the state election would then negotiate with the Federal Government to create a new organisation.
“I have never walked away from fighting for a better deal for Central Queensland,” Mr Mobbs said.
But the new body would have to be productive and achieve things.
“If it is wishy washy with no guts and a token arrangement I wouldn't be involved.”
Shadow Minister for Regional Development Warren Truss warned the plans to close the ACCs would have major consequences for local communities.
“The decision to axe ACCs as we know them is a clear breach of Labor's stated election policy,” Mr Truss said.
“ACCs provided a strong link between the regions and Canberra.
“They identified worthy local projects that required some additional assistance to make a big difference within the local community and provided advice on Federal Government services and programs at the local level.
“That link will now be lost as local communities will have to wade through layers of State Government bureaucracy to have their voice heard at the national level.”