The State Government’s reluctance to help with travel costs for drought affected kids trying to have a beach holiday has been described as two-faced.
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett, and Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers Lachlan Millar, say they are disgusted at the hypocrisy shown up by the Government’s penny pinching and having to be dragged to help.
The Rainbow Beach Drought Runners and Tin Can Bay Lions club brought almost 30 children from drought affected regions to the Cooloola Coast for a beach holiday.
“Repeated requests to the Minister for Transport, Mark Bailey, to help at looking at travel costs were ignored until after the children arrived almost two weeks ago…. Scrooge is well and truly making this decision.’
“The Minister answered after the children arrived, said the government would only provide assistance towards the cost of train travel, not buses, and that it would only be for this year.”
“Many of the children had to use bus because the train had been cancelled and others were reluctant to use the train because of the fiasco from last year.”
“I made numerous representations to the Minister to help the 27 children, aged from five to 12, from remote and western regions with their travel so that they could experience a beach holiday.”
“Western Queensland farmers and graziers, and their families, are struggling under seven years of unrelenting drought.
“Some of the children were under 10 years and had never seen a beach, let alone had a holiday.”
Mr Millar, whose 460,000 sq.km electorate spans throughout Central Western Queensland, said he’s appalled that the State Government has had to be dragged to come to the party with any assistance.
“The children came from Windorah, Jundah, Isisford and Stonehenge which are in my electorate and I was able to attend a Bush to Beach fundraiser for the event in Rainbow Beach in July.”
“While the drought has recently caught the eye of the State Government, Western Queenslanders have been living with failed wet season after failed wet season since 2011.You would think that help with the costs for a holiday is not much to ask.”
“It’s shocking that the Transport Minister can easily find $45 million for a bicycle track in South Brisbane but can’t find a few hundred dollars to support the Rainbow Beach Drought Runners travel costs for these children.”
“This is not the first time these kids have been snubbed by the State Government.
“No one is asking for millions of dollars.”