Locals disappointed with budget, says Cleveland MP

STRADDIE NEEDS MORE: MP Mark Robinson says the government should put more effort into helping North Stradbroke Island.

STRADDIE NEEDS MORE: MP Mark Robinson says the government should put more effort into helping North Stradbroke Island.

THE people of Redlands have every reason to be disappointed with the state budget, says Cleveland LNP MP Mark Robinson.

Mr Robinson said an infrastructure freeze continued and the budget confirmed the worst fears of workers, businesses, community groups and residents on North Stradbroke Island.

“Straddie locals, including the Quandamooka people, continue to be shamefully deserted by Labor,” he said.

“The premier and her team have failed to plug the gap created by their unacceptable rush to close the mine and sack the workers.

“...Workers and locals would be forgiven for thinking that the budget jobs plan won’t work – it won’t reduce unemployment, particularly in the youth sector.”

Mr Robinson said if Labor really cared about Straddie, there would have been a major injection of additional funding for the transition from sand mining and the Dunwich Harbour redevelopment would have been the first major project announced so that it could provide a much-needed gateway to the island’s tourism future.

He said council, businesses, community groups and many Aboriginal traditional owners have said the government’s $20 million transition-from-mining package fell short.

A spokesperson for State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the $20 millionstrategy included 23 projects to be delivered with Redland City Council, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Straddie Chamber of Commerce.

Ten projects worth $12.34 million had been started.

“These projects aim to diversify and expand the island’s economy in the three key areas of tourism, education and training and growing local businesses,” he said.

Projects are:

• Gateway master planning to facilitate Dunwich development and the government is also working on a masterplan for Dunwich Harbour.

• Minjerribah Cultural Centre – Planning has started on the cultural centre to a stage that includes feasibility, detailed design, approvals and tender. 

• NSI visitor research program – University of Queensland has been appointed as contractor.

• Grow and promote the Quandamooka Festival – An event coordinator has been appointed to implement a marketing package used to increase attendance at the events held each year from 2017 to 2020.

• North Stradbroke passenger transport study.

• Business operator training and capacity building.

• Indigenous business development fund – A grants program to investigate indigenous business opportunities. The fund opened on May 19, this year.

• Expand the indigenous land and sea ranger program - Expansion of the program to employ and train rangers will be delivered over five years. Five full-time rangers have been engaged by QYAC.

• Straddie camping infrastructure upgrade.

• Refurbishment of Dunwich secondary campus.

A further $2 million is allocated across three projects:

• The Peel Island Jetty project, also started.

• An interpretive signage project

• An eco-tourism site identification study. 

The government had also committed $5 million to the island sand mining workers assistance scheme to help workers transition to alternative jobs.

“Our long-term objective is to increase economic activity and employment in sectors where North Stradbroke Island already has a competitive advantage,” he said.