ON TOUR: Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visiting the Queensland Cotton Gin on Tuesday.
ON TOUR: Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visiting the Queensland Cotton Gin on Tuesday. Sam Flanagan

State Budget will benefit Dalby, minister assures

LABOR minister Mark Furner has defended the State Government's new budget after Warrego MP Ann Leahy announced her disappointment with it last week.

Mr Furner, the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, was in Dalby to take a tour of the Queensland Cotton Gin on Tuesday and spoke to the Dalby Herald about what the budget meant for local residents.

"It's incredible what the budget is delivering to Dalby in itself. We've got $21.3 million going into the Dalby Eastern and Western Access Upgrade,” Mr Furner said.

"You see that as you come through the Warrego (Highway), the extent of that upgrade in terms of road infrastructure.

"I've travelled on that road many times in the past and it's always been a clumsy and difficult road. Now it's a seamless exercise.”

Mr Furner said he was pleased to see Dalby Civic Theatre receive $751,000 and Dalby State School granted $2.8 million for the replacement of classrooms and the administration block.

When pressed on Ms Leahy's concerns about the lingering issue of youth unemployment, Mr Furner said the government had programs in place to ensure Queenslanders could find work.

"Works for Queensland is a signature policy of the Palaszczuk Government and I know the Western Downs mayor will be very happy once again with respect to the $200 million (that has been pledged) last budget and this budget,” he said.

"That will supply local jobs in terms of people ready to build infrastructure that is suitable for the councils - that's job creation in itself.”

Mr Furner, who lifted the drought declaration on the Western Downs last month based on observations from a local drought committee, said he was happy farmers in the area would still have access to assistance if needed.

"Overall out of the budget, our commitment on drought assistance is sustainable on nearly $35 million, so I'm pleased to have that in the back pocket for assistance in those areas where people are still suffering.”