LNP, Labor reject One Nation deal
ONE Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson's bid to strike a deal with either the LNP or Labor to redirect $5.4 billion in Cross River Rail funding to infrastructure pockets across the state has struck a snag.
Neither of the major political parties wants to play.
Mr Dickson says the Cross River Rail project has been found wanting by Infrastructure Australia which has deemed it unnecessary before the mid-2030s at least.
He's listed duplication of the North Coast Rail to Nambour, raising the Borumba Dam wall, an upgrade to the Mount Lindsay Highway and other dam projects in North Queensland among other things as projects more worthy of the money.
And he has said in the event of a hung parliament after the next election, he would be willing to help either Labor or the LNP form government on the condition they accepted the One Nation spending plan.
Mr Dickson said One Nation also wanted to forgo $1.3billion annually in revenue from energy providers in favour of the money being used to reduce power bills by 20%. The revenue would be replaced by savings brought about by an open tendering procurement process for government goods and services.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, however, was having none of it.
"Queenslanders have long memories," she said of the offer, while at Labor's state conference in Townsville.
"When Steve Dickson and Tim Nicholls were in government together, they increased power bills by 43%. Any future deal with One Nation and Tim Nicholls will only see bills skyrocket.
"I have consistently said there will be no deals with One Nation in any government I lead."
Ms Palaszczuk defended Cross River Rail, saying SEQ residents wanted better public transport and less congestion on roads.
She described the Infrastructure Australia report into the project as flawed, saying it had deemed it unnecessary until one-in-three commuters were standing on their journey.
"We know how important the Beerburrum to Nambour duplication is for the Sunshine Coast," the Premier said.
"But to build this vital infrastructure, we first need to build Cross River Rail.
"It will unclog the network by providing a second rail crossing in the city, allowing for shorter journeys and an increase in services."
Despite voting for the Budget and saying he recognised the need for Cross River Rail at some point in the future, LNP leader Tim Nicholls said Labor planned to use six new taxes to pay for it.
He said the LNP had long recognised the business case was flawed.
The LNP leader echoed the Premier, saying there would be "no coalition, no shared ministry and no deals with One Nation" in the event of a hung parliament after the next election.
And he reiterated the LNP's plan for a "new low emissions, coal-fired power station for North Queensland" despite the Coalition's Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison last week rejecting the scheme as coming at two-and-a-half-times the cost of existing coal-fired power stations and with at least a seven-year commissioning timeframe.