Barnaby Joyce has today decided not to deliver an updated statement to the Parliament on the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia because he has nothing to say.
Community and business leaders from the north have converged on Canberra expecting the statement to be delivered today.
Last year the Government delivered the update on the same day that the community and business leaders came to Canberra.
This morning we found out that Barnaby is not going to do it.
Why? He’s sheepish because he has nothing to say.
The Conservatives talk a big game on Northern Australia but haven’t delivered.
The biggest example of that is the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
They have failed to deliver a single job-generating infrastructure project from the NAIF more than two years after it was announced.
This is an epic fail.
The people of Northern Australia are doing it tough. Unemployment is going up.
The Conservatives promised infrastructure projects to create jobs and the NAIF has delivered nothing.
The Conservatives are out of touch with the needs of the north. They have also failed to:
- Invest a single dollar from the Developing the North Co-operative Research Centre into job-generating projects
- Deliver water security for Townsville
- Protect homes and businesses in Rockhampton from flooding by delivering the South Rockhampton Flood Levee
- Provide relief for high insurance premiums for people in the north
- Adequately fund the rebuilding North and Central Queensland after Cyclone Debbie.
The Conservatives have only made choices that hurt people in the north:
- Almost 40,000 workers have had their penalty rates slashed, while millionaires get tax cuts
- $230 million has been cut from public schools
- $82 million will be cut from universities.
Barnaby should be embarrassed.
He should front the Parliament today and apologise to the people of the north.
Instead he’s chickened out and let the north down again.
TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: CAITLIN CONNELL 0435 402 149