Aug 2020

Katter throws down the gauntlet for the Great Bradfield Debate

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Robbie Katter and Bob Katter at Hells Gates (C) Matt Taylor - Townsville Bulletin

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter is challenging, Townsville Enterprise (TEL) and the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) to a public meeting in Townsville to debate the merits of their version of Hells Gates Dam, against the KAP-backed Revised Bradfield Scheme.

Also invited are the LNP Opposition Leader and the ALP Premier and any other representatives who claim that they support Bradfield – despite not standing up against SMEC’s disastrous scheme.

“They better decide whose side of the fence they are on with Bradfield, because SMEC’s Hells Gate destroys Bradfield for forever,” he said.

“The great body of water that needs to be moved out through the break in the Great Dividing Range is going to be used along the Upper Burdekin in the Basalt Rock Country for opportunity farming.

“SMEC and TEL are going to be called out, but they shouldn’t be scared of this as they are ‘big-time’ engineers, businessmen and women, and I’m just a lowly Backbencher. They should make minced meat of me, but let’s see if they show up.”

The Member for Kennedy said he will also move a motion in federal parliament to remove TEL and SMEC as the key proponents of Hells Gates Dam, as they continue to advocate for a ‘watered down’ version of the project that destroys the ‘Bradfield Dream’ for forever.

TEL sent a delegation to State Parliament last week to advocate for their version of Hells Gates Dam, drafted by SMEC, which has a dam wall height less than 400m (above sea level) and includes three downstream weirs on the Upper Burdekin River, with only 50,000 hectares of irrigation.

Mr Katter instead wants the dam wall built over 400m high and the water diverted by a 120km-long irrigation channel to the Upland’s Desert, south-west of Charters Towers, onto the richest black-soil plains in the world.

“I am sick and tired of hearing people talk about something they know absolutely nothing about,” Mr Katter said.

“If TEL and SMEC think after 50 years of work that we are going to settle for a silly, little 50,000 hectares of opportunity farming, 70 kilometres north-west of Townsville, then they believe in the Tooth Fairy.

“The KAP are talking about the Revised Bradfield scheme stage one; a massive industrial undertaking that will be the biggest shake up in Australian history. And all TEL and SMEC are parroting on about is a little irrigation area.

Mr Katter said the Revised Bradfield Scheme had the backing of some of Australia’s greatest minds.

“Sir Leo Hielscher, one of the four greatest men in Queensland’s history, facilitated the 1984 Bradfield consortium report with then Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen,” he said.

“They created the coal industry, still one of Australia’s biggest export earners, and together doubled Queensland’s agricultural output by building an irrigation dam every year. Dr J.C. Bradfield, the original architect of the scheme, built the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s underground railway network, the University of Qld and the Story Bridge.

“The Revised Bradfield Scheme has been overruled and overridden by a 30-year-old SMEC engineer from Melbourne and a bunch of elitists from Townsville. The Federal Government is listening to the elite business people (over Hielscher, Bjelke-Petersen and Bradfield), and in the process is antagonising the good people of Townsville and North Queensland.

“Bradfield is not an agricultural undertaking it is industrial; producing clean petrol (ethanol), zero emissions electricity (enough base load power for North Qld), the biggest producer of stock feed in Australia, the two biggest meatworks in Australia, it will guarantee the Townsville meatworks stays open, and it will guarantee Townsville’s water supply for forever – seeing the city’s population grow beyond 500,000.”

Mr Katter said his office would contact TEL, SMEC, the Premier and Opposition Leader to set a date for the debate.

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