Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald has dismissed negativity from the Queensland Premier on the progress of the Federal Coalition’s multi-billion dollar plan to develop Northern Australia as an act of desperation by a politician who knows her days are numbered.
“The Queensland Premier’s claim that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) has failed to lend any money is typical of a Labor politician who would spend the taxpayers money without a second thought, and certainly without due diligence,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Most disturbing of all, is the claim that it was her Government that funded the $15m feasibility studies for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, which is a key initiative of the Northern Australia Whitepaper.
“This is a blatant untruth by a desperate Premier.
“The arrangement was that all States and Territories would fund the feasibility studies and then be reimbursed by the Commonwealth. That is the usual practice, and on this occasion the Queensland Government insisted that this process be followed.
“But in reality, the Queensland Government has been reluctant to provide the upfront funding, and those feasibility studies are well behind schedule.
“The truth of the matter is that the Federal Coalition is now accepting applications for capital funding under the Water Fund and Loan Facility, but the Queensland Government has yet to submit one.”