Generic Queensland State Election 2020 Townsville advertising how to vote cards. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Generic Queensland State Election 2020 Townsville advertising how to vote cards. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Major parties fall short of SWQROC’s mark

ONE of Southwest Queensland’s most influential groups has released it’s scorecard of the two major parties’ performance, ahead of the upcoming State Election.

The leaders from across the six councils of Southwest Queensland have wound up their 2020 State Election campaign and released their assessment of the candidates in a 2020 State Election Candidate Scorecard.

The South West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (SWQROC) wrote to the major parties contesting the election seeking a response on the priorities outlined in its 2020 State Election Strategy – The Cornerstone of Opportunities.

SWQROC chair Samantha O’Toole said the region stepped out from its corner to call on candidates from across government, opposition and cross bench to deliver for communities in the southwest.

“As part of our election strategy we outlined a clear plan to unlock the ample opportunities to help our communities and those beyond our borders through sustainable economic growth, industry diversification and more jobs for Queenslanders,”

Cr O’Toole said.

“Queensland Labor and the Liberal National Party each responded and our assessment of their response has formed the basis of our scorecard”.

“In the lead up to the election we were pleased to welcome announcements and broader commitments from candidates that align with some of our priorities – most notably funding for roads, exclusion fencing and the opportunity to fund the business case for the much needed Cat Scan service in Charleville.

“However, when it came to the strategic, region-shaping leadership and investment that we desperately need, we were left disappointed.”

“We know that regional Queensland has been keeping the state going during this critical time.

“We were hopeful of a similar measure of commitment in return for those of us who have been working so hard to keep delivering for the state.”

On SWQROC’s scorecard, they are satisfied that Labor will expand the first homeowner grant, increase funding to each remote area board approved project in the southwest, and continue Indigenous tourism opportunities.

The LNP will fund a feasibility study for Cat Scan services, prioritise ‘sole invitee’ contractors for works, and review airfreight routes.

But SWQROC noted that neither party would fund Warri Gate Road or a Quilpie Freight Hub.

Deputy SWQROC chair Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge said there were many positives to come out of SWQROC’s 2020 campaign with the region in a better position to advocate and direct the political spotlight than ever before.

“Our election strategy and the formation of the ROC have been a significant milestone for our region this year,” Cr Radnedge said.

“What we have achieved has established a strong foundation and put SWQROC and its six councils in a positive position for the future.

“The scorecard isn’t just a short-term political tactic – it is a snapshot of the major parties’ commitments and accountability to Southwest Queensland now, and into the future.

“Whichever party wins government on Saturday, we’ll be sure to remind them of their commitments to the southwest and importantly what more they can deliver.

“We look forward to working with the next Queensland Government to make our region, and in turn, the state, even stronger.

“With the right investment in Southwest Queensland there will be a strong return - this region really is the cornerstone of opportunities.”

View the full wishlist and scorecard here.

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