Addressing the high cost of living and lack of housing affordability were key priorities for the LNP, Shadow Minister for Communities and Housing Fiona Simpson and LNP State candidate Mick Pattel and said today.
Mr Pattel, who took Ms Simpson to meet front-line services in Mt Isa this week (Feb 7), said the two-speed economies of towns such as Mt Isa and other communities throughout the North West meant there were many people missing out on the benefits of the mining boom.
Ms Simpson said: “It’s great to see the jobs which come with the mining industry but for those who aren’t employed in the industry, they can really struggle to afford a house and pay for other costly services.”
Ms Simpson said Queensland was now the most expensive place to run a car in Australia thanks to the Bligh Government’s broken promise introducing a fuel tax and hikes in registration.
Mr Pattel said he believed the mining industry needed to invest back into the infrastructure of local communities, and that particularly included housing.
“If you’re the local hairdresser and you’re paying high rents, it’s hard to compete for a limited housing stock with people with a wage in the mines.”
Ms Simpson said people living in the region were already dealing with higher transport costs than people down south but this was made even harder to bear with recent State Government hikes in fees and charges.
“The LNP under Campbell Newman wants to make the family home more affordable by an average $7000 per home by scrapping the Bligh Government’s new tax. Electricity and water charges are also in our sites because that’s where people are particularly hurting.”
Ms Simpson said that the North West was producing much of Queensland’s wealth but the waste of the State Labor Government had seen $600 million spent on a dam which was never built and a $500 million on a pipeline to no real dam.
“That is a criminal waste when there are so many real needs where that money could have been better spent. It’s particularly highlighted when you see the challenges facing these communities.”