Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Nationals MP for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker is in the local media again.
This time pledging that he will fight for "the same payment for Coffs and Clarence flood victims that was given to Ingham residents".
Just don't tell the locals that the $1,000 for each person you are talking about was only for those caught up in a major disaster whose principal place of residence has been destroyed or significantly damaged, home was inaccessible for over 48 hours or more, as well as those who have been seriously injured and hospitalised as a direct result of the floods (according to Centrelink which distributed the funds as Disaster Recovery Payments).
Or remind locals that these Queenslanders were in 36 local government areas declared disaster zones in the one widespread flooding in 2009 and some had been inundated during similar flooding in 2008.
And keep very, very quiet about the fact that low-income earners whose homes has been damaged in the 2009 Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Nambucca and Clarence Valley flooding could apply for Personal Hardship and Distress Grants.
In early 2009 the Liberals Ian MacDonald got to his feet in the Senate and eloquently put the case for generous assistance for northern Queensland.
Even Malcolm Turnbull spoke in support of those in northern Queensland.
I can't find any record of Luke Hartsuyker rising to his feet in the House of Reps to plead for local flood victims this year.
Instead he puts out a couple of short press releases in April, writes a letter to Rudd and becomes indignant when it is fielded to the Minister for Community Services.
If he couldn't be bothered to tell Parliament, why would anyone think that he is serious now.
When are our North Coast pollies going to realise that their past inaction is on the Web for all to see at the click of a mouse?
Over 15 hours after I posted this opinion, Luke Hartsuyker finally asked a question without notice about flood payments:
"My question is to the Prime Minister. Following the recent disaster recovery payments made to residents of Queensland affected by flooding, why has the Prime Minister not acted decisively to provide similar cash payments to victims of recent flooding on the New South Wales North Coast? Has the Prime Minister broken his promise to the Australian people that he will govern for all Australians?"