The housing crisis, a major setback in services at Gympie Hospital and the ongoing flood recovery effort are just three items on MP Tony Perrett’s list of issues for next week’s Queensland budget.
Mr Perrett listed specific projects in the area as he called for ‘real and genuine investment in the Gympie area’ in a budget to be presented at a four-day session of state parliament .
“Investments should focus on local infrastructure projects, continued flood recovery, the sustainability of the region and the improvement of existing infrastructure and facilities,” he said.
And that was just the start of a long list of spending items that Perrett said were overdue.
“Government must live within its means, stop its reliance on taxes and blame others for its own failures, and ensure spending is prudent, sensible and done with common sense,” he said.
“I have written to several Ministers and the Prime Minister about our needs, some of which have been exacerbated by this year’s floods.
“Some of the projects are an indictment of the 30-year underinvestment legacy of Labor governments ignoring the needs of this region, now under additional pressure from a high rate of growth.”
Among the priorities listed by Mr. Perrett are:
“Accelerating the process of delivering a new hospital for Gympie;
an ambulance station in Glenwood;
specific funding for road and bridge infrastructure and improved rail services
upgrading of the Mary Valley Freeway as reported in the Mary Valley Highway Safety Report. It needs to be upgraded to at least B double standard to support industry growth in the region;
passing lanes on Tin Can Bay Road and Rainbow Beach Road;
widening the three-kilometre stretch between Tooth Drive and Reuben Road on Gympie-Woolooga Road to two lanes;
improve flood immunity and begin planning for a high level bridge to improve access between north and south Gympie;
improve the bridges on Gympie-Woolooga Road;
increase rail services from Gympie North to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
the sustainability of the road infrastructure;
special assistance to Gympie County Council for road improvements;
additional police personnel and resources to combat rising crime;
a duly designated police station and additional police personnel at Rainbow Beach which currently operates under a house;
upgrade and additional staff at Imbil police station;
a new fire and emergency station at Gympie;
a new rural fire shed in Imbil;
additional resources for weapons licenses, which, from the constant stream of requests I receive, are clearly not working;
investment in high quality sports facilities;
financing of a multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility in Gympie;
heating of the outdoor swimming pool at the Gympie Aquatic Leisure Centre;
funding for more social housing in Gympie. Housing stress and soaring homelessness are exacerbated by a tight private rental market and lack of social housing;
accelerate investment in new school buildings and protect them from flooding, especially at One Mile State School. Takedowns should only be temporary – they can’t be the solution.