Campbell Newman: We don't know what Coast wants!
PREMIER Campbell Newman has urged the Sunshine Coast Council to step up to the plate and outline to the government its priorities for the region.
He said his government has received no clear message as to what those priorities may be.
It has been two years this week since the Liberal National Party swept into power and in doing so registering the biggest win in Australian political history.
Mr Newman, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk, said the government had done everything it said it would do since winning office.
"We have got the economy going, created jobs and also reformed government so it is the best performing State Government," he said.
"Queensland's economy is now outperforming other states.
"We are the lead economy nationally and all sorts of statistics support that.
"Queenslanders can be very excited that this will be the engine room of the nation."
However, Mr Newman said he would like to receive a clear message from the Sunshine Coast community as to what the major priorities are for the region moving forward.
"We have not got that I am afraid from the Sunshine Coast," he said.
"We need to know what the top three or four priorities are.
"We are getting different statements from different community leaders and organisations.
"That is something the Sunshine Coast needs to come together on and tell the government so it can be part of the conversation we are having at the moment."
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson told ABC radio on Monday morning that he was shocked by the Premier's comments.
"Look I was a little stunned, I must admit,'' Mr Jamieson said of the article in the Daily today.
"If the Premier is criticising the council for not outlining our vision... our priorities for the region then he is wrong.''
"I personally outlined our economic development strategy to the Premier,'' Mr Jamieson said.
He said the strategy was the culmination of work by chambers of commerce, the development industry, community groups and the university.
He said he had met with the Local Government Minister to outline the region's priorities.
Mr Jamieson said he had also set up a Sunshine Coast First group which aimed to unite the council with state and federal MPs, business leaders, chambers of commerce and peak development groups.
He said if the Coast's six sitting MPs could not convey the region's needs, he did not know what more he could do.
Mr Newman said the toughest situation he faced was the task of balancing the budget and the subsequent affect it had across the state.
"That meant a whole lot of people in the public service losing their jobs," he said.
"I am really sorry it had to happen, but if it had not have happened then all Queenslanders would have been paying for government expenses that were out of control."
Mr Newman said he was particularly proud of how his government has turned around the ailing health system to make it one of the best performing in the nation.