Campbell Newman with Tony Abbott last month.
Campbell Newman with Tony Abbott last month. Lee Constable

Newman slams Kevin Rudd over lost jobs in Queensland

CLICKING his fingers repeatedly for theatrical effect each time he suggested the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could fix Queensland unemployment issues "like that", Premier Campbell Newman took swipe after swipe at the nation's leader during Question Time.

Mr Newman told Queensland Parliament the Cross River Rail project, the G20 event and the Galilee Basin projects would generate jobs "like that" - *insert finger click* - if the Federal Government had any idea how to run a country.

He said Mr Rudd wanted a 75-25 funding deal for the Cross River Rail - which would connect the north and south railway lines under the Brisbane River - despite the former Labor government in Queensland agreeing to a 50-50 split and was holding projects up to "look into".

"Over 10,000 jobs could be created like that (*click*)," he said.

"Billions of dollars of investment are waiting to pour into this state at a time when we need it, when people are coming off the construction projects in Gladstone on the LNG terminals.

"It could happen right now.

"Four weeks on and this no-hoper is looking into it.

"This guy has no idea how to get the economy going."


About the same time, during a press conference in Brisbane, Mr Rudd said he supported the project which would help businesses, the environment and generate about 6000 direct and indirect jobs.

"It's about making sure that people can get to the city and back in a reasonable stretch of time so that they can attend to their family responsibilities but also get to their place of work," he said.

"The disappointing thing for us is despite having reached agreement just before the last budget for this project to proceed, the LNP Government walked away from it because Tony Abbott said that a Liberal Government will never fund urban rail networks."

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Federal Government had committed $715 million in May to the Cross River Rail if the Queensland Government would contribute the same.

He said the project would "take 14,000 cars off Brisbane's roads to make sure we can have new trains through Brisbane not just benefiting Brisbane but also of course benefiting the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast".

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said the deal was not genuine because half the Federal Government funding would come from reducing GST payments to Queensland.