CAMPBELL Newman has come under attack after he urged Ipswich residents to back the LNP at the next state election, without even setting foot in the city since becoming leader.
Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan condemned Mr Newman for using Ipswich residents’ suffering after the floods as a political football after comments he made in last Saturday’s The Queensland Times.
“People in Ipswich right now are facing real challenges. The last thing we need is misleading advice from a man who walked away from his own community,” Ms Nolan said.
In a statement she said Mr Newman was wrong to claim that the Premier’s Fund, chaired by Ipswich local David Hamill, had income thresholds that excluded poor people.
“The first round of $2000 payments per adult and $1000 per child had no income test at all; the second round for people whose homes were totally destroyed in Cyclone Yasi also had no income test; and the third round - which is now open - to repair homes is available to people with a household income of up to $150,000,” she said.
“These are reasonable tests. Is Campbell Newman really saying that people on $50,000 should get less so that millionaires don’t miss out?”
The Finance and Arts Minister said Mr Newman had the arrogance to tell Ipswich people what was good for them without even bothering to set foot in Ipswich since becoming leader.
“Campbell Newman has now been out campaigning for nearly a month and has not even come to Ipswich,” she said.
“That’s what Ipswich people need to know about how highly he rates us.”
Mr Newman, who was yesterday continuing a tour of central and northern Queensland, responded to the comments by reiterating that he would love the opportunity to have his team represent the people of Ipswich after years of Labor neglect.
“I am simply appealing to the people of Ipswich to have a good look at us - and if they like what they see to give us a go,” Mr Newman said.
“The Ipswich area has been a Labor stronghold for many years and everywhere I go people tell me they are sick of this old, tired Labor Government which has failed to plan for the future and saddled us with a huge amount of debt.”
Mr Newman told The Queensland Times last week that the main issues in the next election would be the increases in cost of living and the “under-investment in rail services and under-investment in the roads”.
He said he had received plenty of feedback from residents about the failings of the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund, including pensioners who had been knocked back.
The next state election is due in March 2012.
Labor currently holds the seats of Ipswich, Ipswich West and Bundamba, while the LNP’s Ian Rickuss holds the seat of Lockyer.
MP asks when is Can-Do coming? | Ipswich News | Local News in Ipswich | Ipswich Queensland Times