Hinchinbrook Budget Outcomes 2024-25

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto.

11 June 2024

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto has expressed deep disappointment following the release of the 2024/25 State Budget, which has overlooked critical funding needs for North Queensland.

Mr Dametto said the budget failed to extend beyond the perimeters of the major regional centres of Townsville and Cairns to offer even the most basic of needs to smaller rural communities such as better health and road infrastructure projects.

“If you don’t ask you don’t receive, and I made it clear in writing to the relevant Ministers and the Treasurer what the priority projects were for the Hinchinbrook electorate, none of which were unreasonable and all which were specific to the unique needs of our region,” he said.

“Townsville is set to receive $1.5 billion for hospital upgrades yet an hour up the road in Ingham, the Emergency Department is not fit for purpose and didn’t even get a mention in the budget.

“Between Townsville and Cairns some Bruce Highway projects have received a sprinkle of funding but some of us probably won’t see these projects completed in the near future given the drawn-out timeframe. For example, the Dallachy Road project south of Tully has funding secured but won’t commence construction until next year.

“Additionally, the biggest problem road project in Townsville’s northern suburbs between the Bohle and Mt Low Parkway, which requires funding for a business case to progress, didn’t receive anything.

“Road safety and efficiency are paramount for our region. The government’s failure to fund the business case for this project delays much-needed improvements and places additional strain on our existing infrastructure. In the middle of a housing crisis, this will only serve to impede further growth and development in Townsville’s most sought-after area.

“Aside from critical health and road upgrades, Hinchinbrook needed strong investments to be made to critical boating and marine infrastructure and the funding to complete the partly constructed Cardwell sewage treatment plant.

“Despite repeated calls for vital funding, the government has chosen to ignore the needs of Cardwell. Four months out from the election we have heard the message loud and clear, Labor couldn’t care less about Hinchinbrook’s priorities.

“Although I am disappointed, there are some small success stories coming out of this year’s budget. Hinchinbrook schools and some small projects across the north and our electorate received some well-deserved funding. Those are as follows:

  • Hervey Range Developmental Road (safety upgrades) $5.2 million
  • Murray River Upper State School (tennis court upgrade) $492,000
  • Schools upgrades for – Victoria Plantation State School, Mount Fox State School, Northern Beaches State High School, Lower Tully State School, Kennedy State School and Toobanna State School
  • North Thuringowa Rugby League Football Club (lighting upgrade) $157,907
  • Cardwell Golf Club (irrigation upgrades) $112,062
  • CooperString 2032 $712 million
  • Drive It NQ (completion of current project) $4.4 million”

“Other small wins in this year’s budget that seek to offer some cost-of-living relief include: $1,300 energy rebates, 20 per cent off vehicle registrations, $200 fair play vouchers, 50 cent public transport fees, reduced TAFE nursing fees, increase to $30,000 for first home buyers and $15 million food relief for vulnerable school age students.

“Although these are not the things we asked for, only time will tell whether this latest cash splash by Labor will be enough to swing a few votes in October.

“It cannot be denied that the 2024/25 State Budget is heavily devoted to Labor’s renewable ideologies with over $8.6 billion committed to energy projects. These may be the Brisbane Government’s priorities, but they certainly aren’t Hinchinbrook’s or North Queensland’s.”


Nick Dametto MP