Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Keppel Candidate Blasted Ludwig Blasts LNP Candidate over 'Misleading' GKI Claims; after 'False' and 'Misleading' GKI Claims

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Keppel Candidate Blasted Ludwig Blasts LNP Candidate over 'Misleading' GKI Claims; after 'False' and 'Misleading' GKI Claims

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith Leighton.Smith@capnews.com.au

POLITICIANS have piled on Keppel's LNP candidate Peter Blundell after he made questionable comments with regards to Labor's funding commitment for Great Keppel Island.

The Morning Bulletin quizzed Mr Blundell on Livingstone Shire Council's 'Wish List' where they sought to know the candidate's position on "Critical infrastructure funding for GKI -- water, power, waste water treatment plant and tourist/commuter jetty".

Mr Blundell said he did not support using $25million, plus matched ratepayer funding, for GKI when we have the opportunity to have this built by the private sector.

"Kate Jones was very clear that the funding needed to be matched so it's not a free handout," Mr Blundell said.

"I think the people of Keppel have seen through the blatant pork barrelling and given their track record, I don't think they can be trusted in the future."

When asked by The Capricorn Coast Mirror where he got his information about matched funding, Mr Blundell was insistent that the Queensland Treasurer had made the statement but was unwilling to provide specific evidence substantiating this opinion.

Upon reading Mr Blundell's statement, Mayor Bill Ludwig was incensed with the Keppel candidate.

Cr Ludwig said honesty and integrity were key attributes that the community expect from all candidates so it was astounding to see LNP candidate Peter Blundell making deliberately false and misleading claims in relation to the State Government's $25-million commitment to critical infrastructure funding for GKI.

"Securing this level of funding commitment from the State Government is something that Council has been working toward for some time," Cr Ludwig said.

"We have been one of the most successful councils in Queensland in that regard securing more than $100million in key infrastructure funding over the past three years.

"In regard to the State Government's $25-million GKI funding commitment for power and water infrastructure, as well as passenger jetty and additional amenities, it was made very clear to Mr Blundell at last week's candidates briefing that this commitment required absolutely no financial contribution from Livingstone Shire Council ratepayers."

The mayor said two stories in both The Morning Bulletin and Mirror newspapers this week also reaffirmed this fact.

"We have asked all candidates to support for this much needed GKI infrastructure that will benefit existing tourist operators and the future redevelopment of the main resort area," Cr Ludwig said.

"For a candidate who does not wish to 'go to bat' to secure a similar commitment to knowingly make false statements about a genuine commitment from their opposition is 'grubby' politics and reflects poorly on their integrity. …

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