Stadium funding: ‘Fake news a distraction from the truth’
In the past week an absolutely false and dangerous story about the Federal Government's investment on the Sunshine Coast has been created by contributors to the Sunshine Coast Daily.
This fake news first from columnist Scott Sawyer and then the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is a distraction from the truth about where the Sunshine Coast is being short-changed, and risks letting those responsible off the hook.
Mr Sawyer (Time to stump up some stadium cash) claims that $20 million of taxpayers' money is a drop in the ocean which the Federal Government should spend on what he calls "luxury items" like the Sunshine Coast Stadium.
I am as disappointed as anyone in our community that we do not yet have a commitment from the Federal Government to fund upgrades to the Stadium.
However, Mr Sawyer chooses to ignore the simple fact that today the Federal Government is investing more taxpayer money in our community than ever before.
The Morrison Government is investing more than $3.5 billion dollars in vital upgrades to the Bruce Highway and the North Coast Rail.
It has also invested $3 million in the Caloundra Events Centre, $5 million in a High-Performance Sports Hub in Kawana, and hundreds of thousands more in smaller community sports projects.
This of course is not to mention the hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide which the Morrison Government has spent on supporting Australians through the health and economic crisis of COVID-19.
This funding has helped nearly 60,000 individuals and 20,000 small and family businesses in the Sunshine Coast electorate of Fisher alone.
Yet, where is the Queensland Labor State Government?
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey was down in the state's capital this week talking about the billions being invested by the Queensland Government in rail in Brisbane, the three new train stations being built on the Gold Coast and even fast rail to the Gold Coast.
What about the Sunshine Coast?
Where is Scott Sawyer when it comes to pressing the Labor State Government to do more on rail in our community?
We need heavy rail on the Caboolture to Maroochydore corridor from Beerwah, via Caloundra and Kawana to Maroochydore.
The Federal Government has funded a business case for this project and I continue to push for more support from Canberra.
The State has done nothing to advance this much needed infrastructure. Where are Mr Sawyer's calls for action from Labor?
The Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week went deeper into this mire of fake news (Why Treasurer is out of touch with Queenslanders).
She wants Daily readers to believe that the Federal Government isn't doing enough to support Queenslanders through this difficult time.
The hypocrisy of the Premier is staggering.
While the Federal Government has invested more than $251 billion in direct economic support to Australians and Australian businesses during COVID-19, Premier Palaszczuk's Queensland Labor Government has committed only $8 billion.
I am still fighting for Federal Government funding for the Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid gives us another great opportunity.
However, the truth is that there is only one tier of Government short-changing the Sunshine Coast on sports and transport infrastructure and that is the Queensland State Labor Government.
Andrew Wallace is the Federal Member for Fisher.