Townsville Bulletin: Senator Rennick has infrastructure on his mind
By Trudy Brown
Published 17 July 2020
Travelling the road less travelled throughout country Queensland has highlighted the focus of councils on getting the job done for one federal senator.
That’s the assessment of LNP Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick who stopped in Charters Towers today as part of a statewide road trip.
The Chinchilla-born Senator says while he might live in greater Brisbane these days, he’s a country politician at heart.
“I’ve met the councillors and the mayors along the way and they’re so outcome focused,” Senator Rennick said.
“They want staff for their hospitals and one council made it clear they want road works coming their way for their own workers and not going to city contractors.”
Senator Rennick said there had also been plenty of discussion surrounding the local government managed Federal Assistance Grants (FAGs) and the desire by councils to see a greater slice of that funding.
“I’m a decentralist,” he said.
“I want de-federation in many ways. Maybe if we got rid of state governments and just held onto councils it would work.
“But it’s clear councils are focused on funding and I don’t care how much we’re spending I just care what we’re getting for it.”
Senator Rennick said Queenslanders had been let down by 30 years of Labor in Queensland.
“Councillors say ‘I’ve got to live with these people’ and that’s what good about councils, they’re accountable,” he said.
Eager to see fiscal and monetary reforms in the country, Senator Rennick is also lobbying his own government to build its way out of any financial recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He cited Hells Gates Dam and the Bradfield Scheme, power stations and rail transport networks as some of the ways to do that.
“All levels of government make it harder to build wealth in this country,” he said.
“We need to build dams, power stations, oil refineries, we should build more ports, airports and rail corridors.
“We shouldn’t be selling off our assets to foreign interests.
“We sold all of our infrastructure in Queensland and now we have nothing.
“And who do people look at to fix things like electricity prices, governments, so we may as well own that infrastructure.”
Senator Rennick said he would continue to lobby in Canberra to encourage the nation to rely on itself and not others.
“Rural and regional Australia has underpinned our success as a nation,” he said.
“I’m always going to advocate for our regions to ensure they receive their fair share of government services and funding.”
Original article: Townsville Bulletin