Jul 2017

No inland dust bowl, no flooded coast

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An LNP MP promising Tully Millstream is a bit rich, since it was left to lapse under their party’s own State Minister Tom Gilmore, after being started by the Bjelke-Petersen Government despite the World Heritage declaration (see attached ‘Feds to look at Tully hydro’, Townsville Bulletin, 21 July 2017). And we may well warn any other MPs hypocritically shooting their mouth off about this one: that Minister recorded one of the biggest defeats ever in Qld history – they didn’t forget him.

Tully Millstream is 20 years behind the times. It had some logic when North Qld’s peak-load power requirements were a very small 100-200megawatts. That figure is now 400-600MW, with spikes.

If a scintilla of homework had been done, the LNP MP would have found out Tully Millstream was superseded 20 years ago by Reverse Tully Millstream – a sophisticated approach put forward by Professor Stocker and others that creates a magnificent vision for paradise above and below the range:

  • water for the inland;
  • bigger hydro potential; and
  • a massive sugar development with a pipe bringing the sugar liquor down to our coastal sugar mills, increasing dramatically our employment and job security in these mills, as well as places for our sons and daughters to go farming, as had their forebears before them.

Instead, the LNP MP wants to:

  • rob Ingham of water and the benefit of that water;
  • create further flooding problems at Tully;
  • starve the dry inland of desperately needed water development; and
  • destroy the Reverse Tully Millstream (now known as the Southern Tablelands Development Scheme) – 15,000 permanent jobs and 400MW of cheap baseload power, security for our coastal mills and perhaps the key to unlocking Ingham’s NQBE.

The original Tully Millstream was to take water from the dry inland and dump it into the super-flooded coastal belt. Now, starving the dry inland of water to be put into areas of flooding is an act of people who have little use of what intelligence they possess, if any.

The Qld ALP Government’s plan to raise the wall on the Burdekin Falls dam for hydro-electricity is an even more brainless and counterproductive decision forced on the people of North Qld. It would also have to be one of the most criminally destructive proposals, since it stops all irrigation and development of nearly one-third of North Qld – namely the Burdekin River basin. So the ALP wants to spend $300 million to get a pissant 50MW for two or three hours a day and no jobs. That sort of government wastage is criminal – particularly on a project that puts a stop forever to the Hell’s Gates proposal, which produces 20,000 jobs forever, income of $2500 million a year, for Townsville the cheapest water in Australia (and a literally unlimited supply for growth), nearly all of North Qld’s baseload power requirements (650MW of baseload power forever), cheap petrol (ethanol) right on our doorstep, and has zero Co2 emissions.

As a former Minister for three years with responsibilities in this area, the local LNP MP should know all this – but we will help him out and send him (and other North Qld MPs) the STaDS, NQBE and Hells Gates proposals to familiarise themselves, and we hope they will get behind Shane Knuth and other politicians backing a scheme worth 15,000 jobs in the quadrant between Ingham, Tully, Ravenshoe and Princess Hills.

Hon Bob Katter MP,
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au