Water security and new Toowoomba hospital biggest losers in 2020-21 State Budget

Tuesday 1st December 2020 

LNP Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts says his is disappointed in the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s 2020-21 budget, after two of our region’s biggest priorities – water security and stage one of the Toowoomba Hospital redevelopment – missed out.

“Obviously Labor do not understand the fundamental importance of securing our region’s water in order to attract investment, allow businesses and industries to grow and to protect our environment,” Mr Watts said.

“I’m also disappointed there’s been no money allocated in the 2020-21 budget for stage one of the new Toowoomba Hospital redevelopment.

“Building a day surgery on the new Baillie Henderson site was a key part of the LNPs plan to clear waiting lists in Toowoomba.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government clearly have no plan to address the alarming number of patients stuck on waiting lists in our region.

“I’m also disappointed that despite a hard-fought community campaign, the 2020-21 budget fails to include a dedicated Labor commitment to the Boundary Street connection from Highfields to Wilsonton.

“There is some good news in the 2020-21 budget for schools in Toowoomba North including Highfields State School, Toowoomba State High School, Toowoomba West Special School and Wilsonton State High School.

“After years of senior management staff being forced to work in hallways, the Highfields State School is set to receive a new administration block. Today’s budget sets out a $3 million investment in the project before the end of the 2020-21 financial year.

“Also included in the 2020-21 budget is $11.15 million for new classrooms and specialist learning areas at Wilsonton State High School.

“Toowoomba West Special School is also set to benefit from a $3.1 million investment in new classroom facilities.

“Both Wilsonton State High School and Toowoomba West Special School have been operating close to built capacity for too long, so I welcome these upgrades.

“However, the growth of these schools doesn’t just mean more classrooms, it also requires safety infrastructure to be reviewed including school crossings, drop off and pick up zones and carparking.

“I urge the Minister to consider these issues and I look forward to working with the school communities to ensure further funding for safety upgrades is delivered.

“The long-awaited refurbishment of the Heights Community Centre also featured in this year’s budget.

“The Heights Community Centre staff and local residents have been working hard to secure a bigger and better facility for years, to cater for their community’s growing needs.

“I’m very pleased that more than $3.1 million is expected to be spent on the new centre, starting this financial year.