News

Abbott commits to Warrego Hwy during whistlestop visit

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Western Downs Regional Council mayor Ray Brown discuss issues impacting the region, including aged care, at the Tarcoola Retirement Hostel in Tara on Saturday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Western Downs Regional Council mayor Ray Brown discuss issues impacting the region, including aged care, at the Tarcoola Retirement Hostel in Tara on Saturday. Contributed

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott now has first-hand experience about the issues affecting Western Downs residents following an unannounced visit to Tara on Saturday.

Mr Abbott made the whistlestop trip to keep a very public promise - made on shock jock Alan Jones' radio show earlier this year - to meet with Tara resident Debbi Orr and discuss her concerns about coal seam gas.

Following the meeting, Mr Abbott sat down with Western Downs Regional Council mayor Ray Brown and  discussed the key issues impacting the area, including infrastructure, drought, flood recovery, the booming resources sector and how the carbon tax affected the two council-owned aged care facilities in the region.

The council owns both the Carinya Aged Persons Hostel in Miles and the Tarcoola Retirement Hostel in Tara, and Cr Brown said the carbon tax had burdened ratepayers with additional costs, a point he said he hammered home to the Prime Minister.

"The aged care facilities certainly do struggle financially because they are not massive, but it's crucial to maintain them," he told the Dalby Herald.

"Our electricity bill to run the facilities has jumped from $100,000 to $127,000 a year.

"Yes, we do get subsidy from the Federal Government, but that doesn't cover it all."

After landing in Oakey, Mr Abbott and his minders drove to Tara, before he committed to maintaining funding for crucial upgrades of the notorious Warrego Hwy.

Cr Brown said he believed the commitment was a good result for the community.

"He commented that he would maintain the funding for the Warrego Hwy (and) that's what I wanted to hear," he said.

"I was certainly very impressed about that commitment.

"He experienced the same roads you and I, and our families, have to drive on ... and acknowledged we have issues with enormous growth (because of the resources sector)."

Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott hailed Mr Abbott's visit as "a win for Maranoa and the Warrego Hwy".

"He took the time to drive the road and it was great to see him taking the time to … experience the Warrego and Moonie Highways…and also see how important small aged care facilities are to small communities," Mr Scott said.

Topics:  aged care alan jones bruce scott coal seam gas federal politics miles politics prime minister ray brown tara tony abbott warrego highway


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sky's the limit for Dominique

Dalby showjumper Dominique Holtkamp spends time training with her horse, Life to the Max.

Local showjumper outperforms the rest

Heatwave to continue for days as temps top 40 in some areas

Beachgoers cool down at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Temperatures have hit 46 degrees Celsius in parts of outback Queensland today, with a heatwave predicted for the state's central and southern regions.(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Outback towns scorching under the Friday afternoon sun

Milly receives a stay of execution

'DANGEROUS DOG': Milly's owner Therese will meet with the council today to discuss the dog's fate.

Milly the dog is off death row - for now.

Local Partners

Roma's so hot, they're frying eggs on the street

To see how hot it really is, we tried cooking an egg on the road.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!