Documents obtained under freedom of information show the Cross Border Commission has so far cost NSW taxpayers more than $700,000 – with nothing to show for it, according to the ALP.
Shadow north coast minister Walt Secord obtained the documents from Trade and Investment NSW last month.
They included correspondence from Queensland premier Campbell Newman to NSW deputy premier Andrew Stoner, which Tweed ALP candidate Ron Godman says shows the Nationals’ push to have Queensland join NSW in daylight saving in an eastern Australia time zone has been soundly rejected.
‘In opposition, the Nationals leader Andrew Stoner and Tweed MP Geoff Provest said they were going to fix daylight saving and other cross-border issues, but in government they have gone silent and want their promise to be forgotten by north coast communities,’ Mr Goodman said.
The Nationals’ plan was to introduce a single eastern Australian summer time zone by convincing Queensland to join in a shortened four-month daylight saving program and encouraging Victoria to trim its period of daylight saving to match.
The concept was widely promoted by Mr Provest before the election and was later given as one of the high priorities of the Cross Border Commission.
But earlier this month Mr Stoner conceded the proposal was dead in the water after both Queensland and Victoria rejected it out of hand.
In his reply Mr Newman wrote, ‘while I note the points raised in the report, I do not consider these issues to be Queensland government priorities.’
According to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Nationals knew the plan had been rejected by Queensland as long ago as late 2012.
Mr Goodman said Mr Stoner’s admission was ‘almost a year overdue.’
‘The Cross Border Commission has been a complete failure – and they have failed to convince Queensland and the other states on daylight saving,’ he said.
‘It also shows that the Cross Border Commissioner Steve Toms is absolutely toothless and his work is being totally ignored,’ he added.