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I've been able to obtain these figures which show cuts made to programmes by the LNP State government which have previously been supported, many of them for years.
I'd never argue that the government doesn't have to right to cease to fund these activities, but let's look at two issues. First let's examine what new initiatives have been funded, and then we'll identify the nature of those programmes which have been cut.
I'll do the second exercise first.
For the sake of brevity, let's classify them in the following way -
1. Targeting disadvantage - 5 programmes - $641000
2. Education - 19 programmes - $1729500
3. The Arts - 14 programmes - $1374400
4. Health - 3 programmes - $311000
5. Environment - 1 programme - $20000
The total savings are $4466000. It's important to understand that the withdrwal of these funds will effectivelly terminate many of these programmes,
In order of magnitude, it reads Education, The Arts, Targeting Disadvantage, Health and the Environment. This provides a pretty fair synopsis of the LNP's political ideology.
Now let's look at what has been enhanced or set up as a new initiative. This is much easier to identify. The cuts don't appear on the State Government website. The enhancements do. (Text in italics is from government press releases).
First, there's Racing - This funding will be used to establish an additional 20 country race meetings per year, while another $5 million will be provided to the Queensland Thoroughbred Investment Scheme over the next two years, allowing Racing Queensland to increase much-needed prize money across the state.
Then there's the Commonwealth Games - The Newman Government has committed $20.9 million to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 2012-13 State Budget.
There's also a reshaped first home owner's grant - Premier Campbell Newman said first home buyers would receive $15,000 - up from $7,000 - when purchasing a newly constructed home or property off the plan, under the re-shaped First Home Owner Construction Grant (formerly First Home Owner Grant).
This always goes down well with the Real Estate Community. They simply add the grant to home prices and pocket the extra commission.
There's tourism - $20 million Tourism Investment Strategy focusing on key emerging markets
And police - $146.9 million over four years to deliver an additional 1,100 new police officers
As well as Agricultural research - $4.8 million for research to develop Queensland as the food bowl of Asia with a focus on pulses
So what else does this tell us.
It tells us that racing is higher on the priority list than targeting disadvantage. It shows that splashing money on the games rates higher than education funding.
It says that tourism rates higher than health (and the environment that presumably the tourists travel to see).
Appointing more coppers is simply a payoff to the Police Union, traditionally supporters of conservative government in Queensland. Remember Fitzgerald?
And it looks as if the vegetarians will be happy with the spending on research on pulses.
Compare the scale of it all - a saving of $4 million to kill important (and in some cases vital) programmes as against spending of $178 million for racing, the games, tourism, real estate and coppers.
Some of the programmes lost include Federation of Parents and Friends Association of Catholic Schools, Q2 Smart and Healthy Programme, Queensland Museum, Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma and Vision Australia.
Funds for these programmes were all comparativelly small amounts compared to the iniatives on Racing - $5 million plus $1 million a year for the next 5 years, and $20.9 million on the games.
At least the blind kids in the bush will be able to go the rural race meetings. Whether they'll get the support they need with the demise of the Vision Australia funding is another matter entirely.