BUDGET: Ann Leahy (right) with opposition leader Deb Frecklington.
BUDGET: Ann Leahy (right) with opposition leader Deb Frecklington. Michael Doyle

BUDGET: Projects funded while youth employment rises

THE State Budget will increase the cost of living, according to Warrego's MP.

Ann Leahy said the five new taxes would "impact business and households”, and that the $83billion

debt was taking funds

away from infrastructure projects.

In a statement made after the budget, Ms Leahy said the state's unemployment and debt was causing huge problems.

"Not only is there debt to pay back but the growing interest bill diverts funds away from necessary infrastructure projects like hospitals, roads and front line services,” she said.

"The State Government has failed to deliver on the Premier's target to reduce unemployment below six per cent despite more than three years in the job.

"Unemployment has

risen from 6.1 per cent to

6.5 per cent or equal to

the worst in the nation

and a staggering 54.2 per cent in youth unemployment in the outback.”

The youth unemployment in regional Queensland was a concerning issue for the Warrego member.

Ms Leahy said she was disappointed the budget did not address the issue.

"When you look at two young people walking down the street, one of them does not have a job,” she said.

"Those young people are the future of our region

and while they are young

we have to get them into a job.”

Balonne Shire Council Mayor Richard Marsh said he was pleased with several aspects of the budget, including the widening of the Carnarvon Highway between St George and Roma.

"This means that large sections will have the speed limit increased from 100km/h to 110km/h.”

"I didn't realise it would be so significant as we were told there was no capital expenditure by Main Roads.

"I just hope that the Balonne Shire Council will be able to carry out the work.”

Other improvements to the Balonne region include a $500,000 upgrade to the Dirranbandi fire station as well as upgardes to the Thuraggi Channel.

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