Thursday 18 June, 2020
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s flagship Advance Queensland program is fast disappearing – leaving dozens of small businesses in limbo.
LNP Shadow Minister for Innovation Michael Hart today told Parliament that one of the program’s few remaining initiatives, Ignite Queensland, had now ‘flamed out’.
Ignite Queensland offers grants to start-ups and small businesses to commercialise new products and services, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government has unexpectedly halted the program and is conducting a review of its future.
“I’ve been contacted by businesses that have invested serious time and money preparing applications for Ignite funding that have now been left hanging by Labor,” Mr Hart said.
“The Ignite program appears to have flamed out – like so many of Labor’s Advance Queensland initiatives.
“This debacle shows that the Palaszczuk Labor Government has no economic plan for Queensland.
“If Labor believe their programs benefit the economy and create jobs, they should not be axing them in the middle of an economic crisis.
“If Labor believe Ignite was wasting public money, they should be upfront with taxpayers.
“Labor should also show businesses which have invested in Ignite the simple courtesy of informing them why the program has been axed and offer other forms of support.
“It’s clear that only an LNP Government will back small businesses, build a strong economy and get Queensland working again.”
Other innovation and entrepreneurial programs to be axed include Small Business Innovation Research, Hot DesQ, the Venturer Program and taxpayer support for the Myriad festival.
A CCC investigation is continuing into the awarding of a $267,000 grant by the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s Business Development Fund to a company that was part-owned by Annastacia Palaszczuk’s then chief-of-staff David Barbagallo.