Wednesday 22 July 2009

Cairns MP questioned on missing millions

Cairns MP and Local Government Minister Desley Boyle was put under scrutiny today about the massive cutbacks to several Queensland Council grant and subsidy funding schemes.

However, Boyle has said that no cuts to funding have been made.

“The Minister repeated this answer today in the Parliamentary Estimates Committee hearing and is fortunate her Labor colleagues have decriminalised lying in Parliament or otherwise she would now be referred to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee in a similar fashion to her former colleague Gordon Nuttall,” Shadow Minister for Local Government, Howard Hobbs said.
“The Minister is being untruthful with Councils and the public when the answers from her own Department indicate the programs have been slashed and approved projects not honoured."
90 approved projects worth approximately $37 million for Councils are no longer being funded through grant and subsidy schemes and the new capped subsidy scheme for water and sewerage commencing in 2011 and 2012 equates to a further $100 million.
The new Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program is worth $45 million per annum.It will only be provided to Councils who can demonstrate a limited financial capacity to pay for essential community projects. It will not be spent on upgrading sewerage plants which impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Meanwhile the the State Opposition have claimed double standards over wage amalgamation costs at a State Departmental and the Council amalgamation
Wage equalisation anomalies were revealed in the Parliamentary Estimates Committee today.
"The costs to Councils from the amalgamation process are expected to run into millions of dollars,” Howard Hobbs says.
Queensland Councils have been instructed by the State Government that wage equalisation costs, brought about by forced Council amalgamations could not be claimed as a legitimate amalgamation expense.
However, the merger of the Departments of Transport and Main Roads, Crown Law advice has indicated that the Department of Transport employees should be paid the higher rates afforded to the Department of Main Roads employees.
“It is OK for the State Government to recognise wage equalisation as a relevant charge in amalgamation but instruct Queensland Councils this is not a relevant amalgamation cost,” Hobbs says.


John, Kuranda said...

Accountability no longer seems to exist under Bligh - shame!

Wendy Richardson said...

The horribly disappointing thing about this is that the very people who should be held in the highest esteem, those that we honour with the right to represent us in parliament, are now shown to be the least trustworthy.

As someone who seeks to represent people, I am appalled that lying to the community has become so much the norm, that candidates who talk about being honest are just laughed at with complete derision.

And who can blame the community, with evidence like this?

The Councils all across Qld can attest to the fact that funds HAVE BEEN CUT. Worst of all, sewerage treatment plants have been stripped of funding with only a matter of days warning; denied funds that the state government previously pledged to provide to meet its own environmental standards.

How are they supposed to make up the shortfall especially now that they have set their budgets. They can't!

Suddenly (but Anna Bligh and Co hoped secretly) the quality of water entering rivers and reef areas can be polluted due to the delay in upgrade of treatment systems.

The Labor Government beat their breasts about care of the environment, but when they have to put their money where their mouths are, it's not forthcoming.

Well Desley, lies, damned lies! Tell the people the truth!

I don't know if people actually realise it but the Bligh government has actually passed legislation to permit them to lie to Parliament!!

This is terribly bad for all of us, as any potential politician with any scruples is made to feel guilty merely by association - not an incentive to honest, decent people who want to stand as candidates. They are deemed guilty unless proven otherwise.

Not too many people are prepared to have to defend themselves against this overwhelmingly bad reputation created for them by Anna Bligh's team. Result - good people turn away and leave the unscrupulous to run our country.

And before someone screams 'the Conservatives have done it too' I'm sure you're right, but the level of blatant dishonesty has escalated to the point of disbelief under Bligh. None of it is defensible - it must stop.

This really is ridiculous. Our government is hopeless at managing our taxes, tries to kid us all about what's going on and legislates to lie to us.

Folks, DEMAND honesty of our politicians and if they lie, you must make a stance at the ballot box.

Don't accept excuses, or apologies. They are given some of the biggest responsibilities in the land; they need to deliver the highest standards.

Ask yourselves too, if you are Labor supporters, if Anna Bligh and her team changed the name of their party to 'The Centralist All-Powerful Party' would you still vote for them? Are you voting for the 'Labor' name that has lost all relevance to their original cause?