Ann Leahy has questioned a number of new promises by the Labor Government in their first budget since being elected.
Ann Leahy has questioned a number of new promises by the Labor Government in their first budget since being elected. Contributed

Leahy slams state budget of ‘missed opportunities’

WARREGO MP Ann Leahy has fired a broadside at Labor's first budget, calling it full of "missed opportunities" and "smoke and mirrors" to do with the Roma Hospital and frontline services.

Ms Leahy took particular attention at the funding announcement for Roma Hospital, which she called "procrastination".

"Back in 2014, the HHS actually put together a master plan for the replacement of the Roma Hospital," she said.

"The Health Minister Cameron Dick has come out and said there are structural defects and said there needs to be planning.

"Planning was done and submitted back in 2014 so we really need the minister to clarify which plans he is referring.

"If we're not far off getting that hospital, why wasn't it a capital line item in the budget?"

Ms Leahy said the lack of any promises and funding allocation for agriculture was a concern, as well as the loss of 138 full-time staff from the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries.

"We just want to know how many of those will be front-line services," she said.

"I'm concerned about towns like Roma, St George and Charleville, because we need those people on the ground.

Ms Leahy also criticised the halving of funding for the Royalties for the Regions saying it would greatly impact how much funding is available for flood mitigation plans in both Roma and Mitchell.

"It will only be half the amount of money and it could make it difficult and highly competitive for both Mitchell and Roma," she said.

"There were a few missed opportunities."

OPINION: What did you think of the State Budget? Let us know by emailing editorial@westernstarnews.com.


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