Labor MP's expensive office move - out of her electorate

TAXPAYERS will be slugged with a $71,000 fit-out cost as Cynthia Lui closes her Mareeba electorate office to set up shop in Cairns.

The full cost of the controversial office shift was revealed in the first day of estimates in the Queensland Parliament.

Manager of Opposition business Jarrod Bleijie has accused the Labor MP of betraying her constituents by moving from Mareeba to Cairns, which sits outside her electorate.

Cook MP Cynthia Lui delivers her maiden speech at Parliament House. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/DARREN ENGLAND
Cook MP Cynthia Lui delivers her maiden speech at Parliament House. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/DARREN ENGLAND

"Cynthia Lui is turning her back on the people of Cook and to make matters worse taxpayers' will foot the bill," he said.

"Speaker Curtis Pitt approved her request to relocate the office, around March last year.

"The cost of the fit-out is around $70,000 while the yearly rent bill will skyrocket to more than $71,000 per year.

"Her new digs aren't in the Cook electorate, the officer is bigger, the rent is double and it's closer to her home.

"The people of Cook deserve better."

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui, Senator Ian MacDonald, Mareeba Shire Council mayor Tom Gilmore and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford open the new section of the Mareeba Airport. PHOTO: BRONWYN WHEATCROFT
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui, Senator Ian MacDonald, Mareeba Shire Council mayor Tom Gilmore and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford open the new section of the Mareeba Airport. PHOTO: BRONWYN WHEATCROFT

Ms Lui defended the decision, saying not a single constituent from Cape York or the Torres Strait had visited her Mareeba office in the two years since she was elected.

"The Cook electorate is 290,000 square kilometres of land, with many small communities throughout," she said.

"There is never going to be one single answer for where the office should be but my decision is based on having an office space that is accessible and inclusive for all, no matter where you live in Cook."

Manager of Opposition business Jarrod Bleijie says the Labor MP has turned her back on constituents. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/CLAUDIA BAXTER
Manager of Opposition business Jarrod Bleijie says the Labor MP has turned her back on constituents. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/CLAUDIA BAXTER

Ms Lui said she would still hold regular mobile office days in Mareeba, as she does in the Douglas Shire.

"I do want everyone to get involved and I do want to hear concerns from all of my communities," she said.

"I'm out here serving my electorate and my staff are also out there doing a lot of hard work as well.

"But having a space that is accessible to everyone is the reason behind the decision."

Ms Cook said the address of the new office and her moving date were not yet finalised.



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