Regions bleeding cash: Springborg

Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg speaks at the official opening of the JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show, Friday February 3 2017.
Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg speaks at the official opening of the JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show, Friday February 3 2017. Liana Turner

THE State Budget has been received with disappointment by some, as the Granite Belt was again overlooked for essential funding.

Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg said it was a politically- charged budget.

"I think that's an indication of this government and their priorities going into an election year,” Mr Springborg said.

"It's throwing billions of dollars of money it doesn't have into the Cross River Rail. That's having to come from somewhere and they're bleeding a lot of regional areas.”

Mr Springborg said a lot of regional areas were feeling the pinch, as money was "sucked into some coastal areas.”

"It might be disappointing but no one should be surprised,” he said.

Mr Springborg said the budget reflected an effort to save inner city seats, particularly that of the Deputy Premier.

"It's a matter of putting priorities in the regions,” he said.

Last financial year the Southern Downs received about $34million for specific projects, but this year the figure was slashed to about $21million.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said it was an "infrastructure budget for Queensland”.

"For local councils... in a budget such as this it is infrastructure funding that we rely on,” she said.

Cr Dobie said the council would continue to lobby the state and federal governments.

Cr Dobie was optimistic about funds that may be directed towards the Southern Downs through the Works for Queensland program.

"While we didn't get any direct allocation there are about $200 million put into Works for Queensland, which is for regional funding,” she said.

"I'm confident some of that will come to us.”

Liberal National Party candidate James Lister also said the budget was a disappointment for the Southern Downs.

"I think Labor are more focused on the green vote in the city than on regional Queensland,” he said.

"That's why we aren't getting our share.”

There were a number of areas Mr Lister thought could have been better addressed in the budget.

"I would have liked to see a focus on our roads, reducing the costs of living, cutting red tape, and making it easier for businesses and farmers to employ people and make a profit,” he said.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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