LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that the Federal Election will be held on Saturday, September 7th.
“At 4pm yesterday, when Kevin Rudd held his news conference, I could hear a very audible collective sigh of relief across the whole region, with people saying ‘At last! We have a choice’,” Mr Entsch said.
“This election is a choice between the Coalition’s plan for a strong, prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia, or Labor’s record of chaos, dysfunction, debt, deficit and more taxes.
“It’s also a choice between a candidate who has a lot of experience and a track record on delivering for the Far North, against one whose sole focus to date has been promoting Kevin Rudd, selling the party line and attacking Campbell Newman on state government policies.
“At the end of the day, people want a candidate who will represent Leichhardt and deliver positive outcomes for our region and I’m proud of my record.”
Mr Entsch said the Coalition had already released a raft of policies as part of the Real Solutions Plan.
“We’ve seen the 2030 Vision for Northern Australia, which will develop Northern Australia and deliver more investment, infrastructure, services and jobs. We embrace the Far North because we recognise the true potential for our economy,” Mr Entsch said.
“We’ll reduce the cost of living by scrapping the Carbon Tax and the Mining Tax, and by ensuring that governments live within their means and only spend the money they have.
“We have pledged $6.7 billion to fix the Bruce Highway, funding Stages 2 & 3 of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor, as well as the Edmonton to Gordonvale duplication, which Labor has refused to fund.
“The Coalition’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy will stop the boats with a military-led response to combat people smuggling. Our policy will save lives at sea, fix Labor’s horrendous failures and ensure our borders are strong.
“Our plan to reduce red tape and boost productivity will reduce the burden Labor has placed on businesses. We will deliver fast broadband access cheaper and quicker than the ALP, because we recognise that fast and stable internet is critical to a strong economy in regional areas.
“Lastly, our education policy will end Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s blame game with the states. We will match their funding dollar-for-dollar, because our children’s education is too important for petty political bickering to get in the way.”
Mr Entsch said he was interested to read Labor candidate Billy Gordon’s media release on Sunday which saw Federal Labor take the credit for a number of Mr Entsch’s achievements in prior terms.
“If Mr Gordon looks back, he’ll see that it was Tony Abbott and I who pledged $50 million for the dental school at James Cook University. It was also the Coalition that had committed funding for the headspace mental health facility and we also first announced the $8.3 million for the establishment of radiotherapy facilities in Cairns, forcing Labor to follow suit.
“It’s time for Mr Gordon to put his money where his mouth is and outline his vision for the future of the Far North, rather than those policies generated out of Sydney and Canberra that Labor has told him to talk about.
“The only promise we’ve seen so far is $4.8 million for the revitalisation of the Cairns CBD and the opening up of City Place, a project which Mr Gordon signed a petition against just a few months ago.
“This is meagre compensation for the $40 million they pulled out of our city and we’re yet to see any of the $5 million committed to the Torres Strait sea walls or the $3.5 million for Jones Park committed in the 2010 election.
“It’s clear that Mr Gordon doesn’t want to talk about the economy because he knows Labor’s record of waste and mismanagement has led to $300 billion of debt, a deficit blowing out by a billion dollars a week, unemployment rising fast and businesses closing their doors for good every single day.
“The choice in this election is clear. Billy Gordon is the Labor Party’s candidate with no real vision for Far North Queensland, and a raft of failed policies which will do nothing to help struggling families and businesses.
“I will represent the people of Leichhardt with as much, if not more, passion than I first brought to this job 17 years ago. I have the vision, the experience, the knowledge and the relationships to get the job done,” he said.