Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has accused the Gillard Government of playing favourites and ignoring remote areas of Australia who have been flood ravaged year in year out for the past 4 years.
“I am appalled that the Gillard regime continues to ignore the need for remote parts of Australia such as the Torres Strait who are left inundated by floods every year and who are crying out for help. The Labor Government, State and Federal just continue to ignore the very real human rights issues that these communities face,
“Is it that this Government believes that the devastation of a family home in Brisbane is more important and significant than a flood ravaged home on the island of Saibai in the Torres Strait? If so, this is discrimination at its finest. The people living on these outer islands have their homes and family members’ graves washing away before their very eyes each and every year and every time they have asked for help they have been ignored,” said Warren Entsch.
Mr Entsch said it would take $20 million to repair and reconstruct the deteriorating seawalls that is now 40 years old and is in desperate need of attention.
The outraged Federal Member said the newly proposed Medicare Flood Levy that has been dumped on generous hearted Australians unnecessarily needs to be scrutinised.
“I do not agree with the additional tax being put on Aussies at a time when living expenses are on the rise due to the floods and a slow economy has hit families very hard. Irrespective of where this money is coming from to rebuild Queensland 75% of the cost is being met by the Federal Government and I believe we need a guarantee from the State Government that they are not going to profiteer off the use of this money.
“Australians need to know for sure that the State Government isn’t going to skim their usual 20% off the top of the Federal Government Flood Fund through their Project Management Services division as Government bureaucracy does not need to profit from this in any way,” he said.