Unlawful disaster claims talks remain in limbo
AFTER talks of "unlawful" disaster claims by the State Government, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says she still hasn't been contacted by any senior member of the Federal Government.
The revelation follows a week of heat on Capricornia MP Michelle Landry after she said over $1 billion had been "parked" for safe keeping because both the state and federal Auditor Generals had uncovered "highly questionable" natural disaster claims by some Queensland councils and the State Government.
She said the Queensland Government's own Auditor General had found at least $115 million worth of claims that were lodged were unlawful and should never have been submitted to the Commonwealth for reimbursement.
Last week, Ms Trad called on Ms Landry and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan to publicly debate her on the issue in Rockhampton and said she had attempted to make contact with Mr Keenan's office.
But despite this, and now six weeks since the Turnbull government's budget delivery, Ms Trad says she is yet to hear from any senior member of the Coalition.
"The Queensland Government is yet to receive a single piece of correspondence from Malcolm Turnbull or any senior member of his government about this unprecedented, politically motivated decision," she said. "Frankly, all Queenslanders should be extremely concerned about the continued failure of the Turnbull government to address the very serious concerns expressed by regional communities, local councils, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the LGAQ.
"I am once again calling on the Turnbull government to play fair and to pay Queensland what we are owed," she said.
"This money was spent in good faith to help communities recover."
A spokesperson for Mr Keenan yesterday confirmed he had received correspondence from Ms Trad.
"As per usual practice for funding outlined in the budget, senior officials will correspond with the states and territories on funding arrangements once the budget is released by the Treasurer."