MP nearly boycotts summit over $400,000 price tag
ONE MP almost boycotted yesterday's Queensland Plan summit because he believed the event was a waste of time and money.
Condamine MP Ray Hopper said the only reason he attended the workshop was because the Premier's office had called to tell him he was the only MP not attending.
Mr Hopper said the summit cost between $300,000 and $400,000 and the entire plan was estimated to cost up to $5 million.
He felt the government could have used the money to save two of the schools in his electorate which are set to be shut down - Wyreema State School and Charlton State School.
Retired electrician, railway engineer and pest control manager Graham Lynn felt disillusioned by the whole process and felt he could not raise transport within his group.
"I didn't feel assertive enough to put forward my view," the delegate from Bundamba said.
"I couldn't help but feel a little bit negative about the whole thing because it just seems to be more of a political move by the LNP.
"They're throwing a lot of money at it but not really getting directly to the people."
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was concerned about the cost, but she was there with an open mind.
She said she had spent the past week travelling the northern regions and the clear message was concern over cuts to health, school closures and jobs.
"There's a lot of people here from all over the state and so far they haven't really had the opportunity to have their say," she said.
"Taxpayers want to see something in return at the end of the day."
But Mr Hopper admitted some constructive ideas had come from the event.
"It was positive today," he said.
"Let's just make it work."
Rockhampton Labor MP Bill Byrne said he left the summit less suspicious of the LNP's motives behind the event.
He said it generated a lot of active conversation.
"But it want to be a good bang for its buck," Mr Byrne added.
Independent Nicklin MP Peter Wellington told ABC the event was a waste of time and money.
"I really think the premier has got it wrong to be claiming the state is so broke and then in the next breath saying he's going to spend $4.5 million or more on coming up with a plan for the next 30 years," he said.