LNP criticized for backing budget

Queensland’s opposition has been slammed for backing the state government’s budget sight unseen, with the stance labeled “not good enough”.

In an unprecedented move, LNP Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said he had already committed to funding arrangements for the Labor government’s budget to be unveiled next week.

“If projects are underway, if they’re in the budget, they’re funded, those projects must continue,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“I don’t think Queenslanders would want to see an incoming government not continue with projects like that.”

Mr Crisafulli said his support was about creating stability and trust in government regardless of the party heading it.

“If things are in the budget they have to be honored for the stability of the public service and for Queenslanders to have a sense of trust,” he said.

However a national think tank described the LNP’s decision as “nonsense”.

Scott Prasser from the Center for Independent Studies said the LNP’s failure to put forward an alternate stance raised questions about its role in opposition.

“It’s based on a fear of putting themselves out there and having to argue their case,” Mr Prasser, the centre’s government policy researcher, told AAP.

“Come next week they might as well cross the floor and join the government.

“It’s really not good enough.”

Mr Prasser said in all of his years of working with governments he had never seen an opposition take such a position.

“This is nonsense… I’ve never heard anyone say it’s good governance to go along with the budget and not upset the applecart,” he said.

Mr Prasser said not all of the Queensland government’s policies were sound and the LNP needed to propose different solutions.

“Stability is a fine thing but sometimes you’ve got to shake the cage to get things fixed,” he said.

The Miles government on Wednesday questioned Mr Crisafulli’s decision to accept all four years of budget spending that had not yet even been agreed upon by state cabinet.

“Queenslanders will rightly ask why he has been whinging and whining for the past four years about what our government has been doing,” Deputy Premier Cameron Dick said.

“(The budget) is yet to go to the cabinet and the parliamentary party before I introduce the appropriation bills.

“This doesn’t add up, it doesn’t make sense.”

David Crisafulli says supporting budgeted projects is about stability in government. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The state government on Wednesday unveiled a flurry of new funding announcements the LNP now look set to support, including record education spending.

An extra $1 billion will be used to improve accessibility infrastructure in schools and introduce 2,000 specialized personnel – like speech pathologists and physiotherapists – to support students with disabilities.

Free kindy hours will be increased to 30 a week in remote communities under the $20 billion education funding umbrella over the next four years.

More support for women will be delivered with $11.2 million over two years to create early intervention initiatives to support pregnant women or those with children who are experiencing hardship.

The government also announced $1.4 billion in funding for the hospital and health services in Townsville, an 11.9 per cent increase on last year’s budget.

The money will be used to create more hospital beds, hire more staff and improve access to out patient care.

The commitments are all being made ahead of the state election in October.

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