22
Mar 2019

Salt thrown on the separate state debate

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has responded today to a report revealing Cairns’ population would rise by about one million by 2043, agreeing with the report’s proposition that the Far North was now in a prime position to separate.

The report, compiled by respected demographer Bernard Salt exclusively for the Cairns Post, claims that the area from south of Mackay to the Torres Strait will be subjected to population explosion over the next 20-50 years.

Mr Katter said that North Queensland had never been in a better position for secession and the funding provided as a result of separating will see a number of viable water development, electricity generation and infrastructure projects realised.

These would push the Far North into the most prosperous position it had ever been.

“Now, whilst these things are up for debate, if I was a betting man, this is what would be first implemented; the plan for the Kuranda Range Road, and two key overpasses on the northern approaches to Cairns. They will start work on a tunnel through the range which will carry sugar liquor which will come down through a pipeline to the Gordonvale Mill as well as provide the Cairns water supply.

“Cairns will have water security from what I consider the most important initiative; the first big dam on the Mitchell River – the biggest river in Australia, bigger than the Murray Darling.”

He said Hells Gates Dam will provide all of North Queensland’s power and the “desperate realignment” of the Tully Hydro penstock pipe will take the region from 140mgwts to over 600mgwts of peak load.

Mr Katter predicted that the Far North will become a heartland of agriculture production that rivals the Murray Darling and warned that the region is already behind in terms of supporting existing population growth.

“The Murray Darling produces 60 per cent of Australia’s agriculture production, feeds and clothes a hundred million people. That is where FNQ is going,” he said.

“There has been a dramatic increase in this area, an expansion in our fruit and vegetable industries; avocados, limes, potatoes, bananas etc… but just to sustain this development, these projects need to be undertaken immediately.”

He said Yarrabah offers the biggest deep water port in Northern Australia; Port Yarrabah.

“Praise Mayor Ross Andrews as champion of this development which will provide 150 jobs for the residents of Yarrabah. And we need the development of sugar for the Gordonvale Mill by Yarrabah farmers on their own Yarrabah family-owned farms - which people have been screaming for, for years.”

"The Tully and Mission Beach area is determined to become the coral reef capital of the world. They want to be a hub for research and the first Australian people will get back, after 30 years, their right to take up a Title Deed.

"The cattle numbers in the greater Normanton area that feeds back into Cairns and Cape York will be restored and move forward and the people that have lived there for 30,000 years will exercise their rights to crocodile safaris, and crocodile and egg collection, Mr Katter continued.

“But infinitely more important, they will regain access to their water and land which should see a couple million head of cattle where there is now 500,000 head of cattle.

“We will regain control of the pigs which at the present, the 10.5 million pigs running around doom the cassowary, the turtles and the western dunnart to extinction – we will rescue these endangered species from the pigs.”

Mr Katter said he wasn’t surprised by the figures in the report labelling the region as a ‘paradise’ and a drawcard for people wanting to move.

“People want to live here and living accommodation is our greatest industry, but we will kill any Townsville-like development where all you can see are roofs for kilometres. There is no space for a single tree in Townsville; that will never happen in FNQ.”

Mr Katter said he would continue to fight alongside those driving the ‘Boot Brisbane’ campaign and that a separate state would provide the funds to realise these projects.

“This NQ Development Authority will take $5,000 million which is the figure the Liberals plucked out of the air on the eve of the last Qld election, and it is the figure that the ALP plucked out of the air to fund their tunnels. If they can pluck it out of the air for them, they can pluck it out of the air to give it to us,” he said.

“I have said endlessly that North Queensland is now in command of five votes. There are five people that are not attached to the Brisbane party system and they are voting as a block. The big one of course is the KAP with three seats held on 60-70-80 per cent respectively; good luck trying to knock any of those seats off – it ain’t gonna happen.”

—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
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

Canberra
(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