Federal MP’s petition nothing more than smokescreen

Date published: 29 January 2021

A petition started by the Federal Member for Herbert is nothing more than a smokescreen for his own lack of action on a key issue facing North Queenslanders, Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino said today.

“In response to increasing external costs and to ensure essential services are maintained, Council this week resolved to increase general rates by 2 per cent, or around 56 cents per week for an average household,” Cr Molachino said.

“This increase will generate around $1.6 million in additional revenue for Council.

“Council’s insurance costs have increased by 30 per cent, or $1.6 million, this year.

“Massive increases in insurance costs are not just an issue for council – homeowners, businesses and body corporates are also struggling.

“It is clear that the insurance market has failed and the Morrison Government, of which Mr Thompson is a member, has done nothing.

“If Mr Thompson genuinely cared about cost-of-living pressures in Townsville and across northern Australia, he’d stopping engaging in childish politics and work to drive down the cost of insurance.”

Cr Molachino said Council had frozen rates for the first half of the financial year while assessing the full impact of COVID-19 on the Townsville community.

“At a time of great uncertainty, Council froze rates and provided close to $40 million in extra support for the vulnerable in our community and businesses who needed it” he said.

“Council also made a very conscious decision to maintain its workforce and abide by enterprise agreements with its staff during the pandemic without being able to access the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper package.

“It is time for Mr Thompson to stop with the games, unblock the $195 million for Townsville jobs and to start working with Council to address issues affecting our community.”