MP has almost ‘zero chance’ of delivering funding promises
IT IS more likely that Peter Beattie will become premier again than it is for NQ First leader Jason Costigan to secure the balance of power.
That's according to Griffith University political commentator Paul Williams, who said the Whitsunday MP was up against "astronomical odds" in being able to gain the balance of power at the state election.
About $1 billion worth of funding promises made in the lead-up to the October state election hinge on Mr Costigan's ability to achieve this.
The controversial MP has announced several funding commitments each week since his NQ First political party was registered with the Electoral Commission of Queensland in November last year.
These promises include $8.5 million for a new police station at Walkerston, $1 million for the Proserpine Museum extension and $50 million for a new Northern Beaches arterial road.
All of the funding commitments have been made on the proviso that Mr Costigan secures the balance of power at the October state election.
But Dr Williams said it was extremely unlikely these groups and communities Mr Costigan had promised funds to would ever see a cent of this money.
"Given that there's almost zero chance of him winning the seat, there would be almost zero chance of him delivering on those promises," he said.
"If he were to win the seat, the intersection of circumstances would have to be that neither side of politics maintained a majority."
Dr Williams said for this scenario to occur, NQ First candidates and a mix of independents or minor parties would have to secure the balance of power.
"So combined, we're talking about super astronomical odds of those circumstances ever coming to fruition," he said.
"It's not going to happen.
"It's more likely that Peter Beattie will stand, win a seat and become premier."
Dr Williams said Mr Costigan was entitled to make election promises as an elected member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly with the backing of a legitimate political party.
"He has every right to stand for election and to make promises," he said.
Mr Costigan said his party had secured great candidates and was working hard towards the goal of securing the balance of power at the election.
"I'm not sure when Dr Williams was last in Proserpine, Mareeba or the Pioneer Valley, but there is a growing consensus out there that we will not see a majority government on the back of this election," the Whitsunday MP said.
"We will just have to see which way the cards fall on October 31.
"Minor parties will have a huge role to play in what is going to be a very interesting election."
Mr Costigan said all the funding promises he had made would be paid for under NQ First's $6 billion Royalties for Regions program, funded by mining royalties.
Some of Mr Costigan's funding commitments made so far:
- $400m for Tully Mill Stream hydro-electricity project
- $4.5m for rural fire brigade sheds
- $350,000 for Bakers Creek Tigers home ground
- $200,000 for Kelsey Creek Hall
- $8.5m for new police station at Walkerston
- $1m for Proserpine Museum extension
- $100m for Bloomfield track sealing
- $200,000 for Habana Hall
- $750,000 for irrigation project at Proserpine Golf Club
- $50m for second Northern Beaches arterial road
- $40m to relocate Sugar Research Australia
- $75m to seal Clermont Alpha Road
- $300m for Bitumen For the Bush program
- $50m to build Gracemere High School
- $8.5m for new police station at Clermont
- $10m for new emergency services complex at Northern Beaches
- $400m for new coal-fired power station at Collinsville
- $3m for koala research station on St Bees Island