Media Releases

ABF visits Collinsville solar farm after local jobs replaced by cheap foreign labor


KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has joined forces with Mick Robinson and Grant Harridine from the CFMEU in North Queensland to deliver a scathing attack against the state and federal Governments funding the construction of three solar farms in Central Queensland, after hearing news that one of the farms was visited by the Australian Border Force, a move that could only be associated with the interstate and foreign labor the farms’ engage.

It is reported that the Australian Border Force officials entered one of the solar farm sites, RCR Collinsville, late last week to monitor and observe operations.
Mr Katter said this was just another example of how foreign fly-in workers are disadvantaging Australians.

“Our Party, KAP, has a close relationship with the CFMEU because they are the only mob in Australia fighting against the 640,000 people that are being brought into Australia each year to undermine our pay and conditions and take our jobs off us.
“There is not a single farming family in NQ that I can think of that hasn’t had someone working in the mines, and thanks to this undermining of our pay and conditions and bringing in of Section 457 workers, and other workers, we’ve dropped from $200k a year in mining.

“They’ve forced us to leave our homes and our families for fly-in mining – which was banned in Queensland and WA until 1991 – and work out there in the middle of nowhere doing a dangerous job for which we deserve $200k but are now getting $100k a year – and if the 600,000 people keep pouring in, you’ll be working for $50k. Those farmers who were depending on that income will be losing their farms.”
Mr Katter said that while there is a place for ‘solar’, it has delivered a misconstrued message to Australians as the ‘healthier alternative’ to power.

“If you want to get your power from the sun, and this great miracle that there is no CO2, well you forget that there is plenty of CO2 coming from the Chinese factory where that solar panel is being made. I won the science prize for putting in the first standalone solar system in the world. And so there is a place for solar but this place is NOT inner Brisbane or Sydney.

“What happens is, like in Collinsville, you close the power station, which then closes the two mines and now the jobs have all gone to China. That’s bad enough, but now we’re building a giant solar farm to take its place. And while there is some jobs in construction, those are being sent interstate and the solar panels are coming from overseas.”

Mick Robinson, the Regional Coordinator for the CFMEU in Queensland and the Northern Territory said the state and federal governments had failed Queenslanders.
“Two local Queensland subcontractors have been kicked off those jobs and owed millions of dollars in payments. They have been replaced by interstate labor hire companies, exploiting foreign labor and taking the jobs off locals and Queenslanders that were on those solar farm projects.

“We can only hope that for the border officials entering those sites, that it isn’t too little too late.
“Until Governments start prosecuting these unscrupulous companies that exploit foreign workers, we will continue to see exploitation and casualisation of the workforce, not just here in Queensland but around the country.
“We know of the extent of the exploitation of these foreign workers –they pay them only $14-$15 Australia into their native bank accounts. These are State and Federal funded projects, paid by the tax payers of Australia. So it’s about time we start to see some action, some fair dinkum results for locals in regional Queensland.
“This is a region that is known to have the highest unemployment rate in the country so we hope it’s not too little too late and those subbies are able to get their jobs back when we see justice done.”

KAP continues to fight for North Queensland


Katter’s Australian Party has continued their relentless defence of North Queenslander’s way of life in the face of increasingly hostile laws by a city-centric Government by re-introducing key policies and the tabling of a petition into Parliament today.

KAP State Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter said the KAP would never stop fighting for the rights of North Queenslanders.
“Today we have introduced two bills and a petition, all for the betterment of North Queenslanders,’’ Mr Katter said.
“We have given the Members of Parliament a chance to make sensible changes instead of pandering to the ideological positions of people who predominantly live in Brisbane.’’

Shane Knuth, KAP member for Hill introduced the Safer Waterways Bill, a KAP-policy cornerstone aimed at reducing crocodile numbers in the North.
“Our policy to prioritise human life over the lives of crocodiles is a response to community outrage at the lack of action taken to protect North Queensland residents and visitors from the risk crocodiles and the negative impact this poses to our multi-billion dollar tourism industry,” Mr Knuth said.
“In the past three years there have nine attacks with three fatalities – while in the preceding 30 years there were 25 attacks and four fatalities. This clearly indicates that numbers are exploding “North Queenslanders are sick and tired of ignorance on this issue and hearing about more studies to tell them what they already know about crocodile numbers. They want action.
“We have a duty of care to the communities that elected us to represent them and the KAP are demonstrating through this Bill that we take this issue seriously.’’
KAP Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto has tabled a petition in Queensland Parliament today with 1355 signatures calling for urgent funding to allow the dredging of One Mile Creek.
“On any given day the Cardwell Coast Guard is effectively marooned in One Mile Creek,’’ Mr Dametto said.
“This critical, life-saving service is simply unable to provide assistance to troubled boat users for several hours every day.
“We don’t want to see a situation where a person finds themselves in difficulty on the water and then becomes a tragic fatality because the Coast Guard was unable to reach them.’’

KAP State leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter also re-introduced a Bill today to amend the Vegetation Management Act.
“This Bill is vital for ensuring there is a balanced and rational debate on land clearing,’’ he said.
“The Statewide Landcover and Tree Study (SLATS) data and methodology appears to be vulnerable to manipulation and misuse. For example it’s not clear whether the recent SLATs clearing rates include loss of vegetation to natural disasters such as cyclones.

“How can the supposedly scientific claims that clearing is destroying the reef and contributing to global warming be credible if we don’t know how much vegetation is growing?’’

XXXX Gold leaves bitter taste in Katter's mouth


Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter MP has been left with a bitter taste in his mouth after discovering that the once beloved XXXX Gold brand is winding back its alignment with Queensland after relocating a portion of its factory production to NSW and undermining job security by moving away from employing full time Queenslanders to casual contract staff.


Last week it was revealed that the iconic Milton, Brisbane based brewery, owned by Lion, has seen an increase in union action which is resulting in staff strikes and an associated impeding beer shortage.


The workers are responding to the cuts in workplace conditions and security in favour of contract labour – leaving the big question, whose side are XXXX Gold really on?


“XXXX has gone from a staff of 300 in Milton, next to the old football stadium, down to 100… I repeat that, from 300 to 100 staff. There have been 40 redundancies in the last two or three years and they will continue. So clearly they are moving out,” Mr Katter said.

XXXX Gold has also reduced its sponsorship branding of the Queensland Maroons with the front of the Maroons State of Origin 2018 jersey missing the XXXX Gold logo for the first time in more than a decade.

Mr Katter said, “Now this brand that has developed on the basis of being Qld’s beer is now kissing goodbye to that identification marker and all I can say is whoever is in charge of their marketing, give him a job feeding the pigs in a pig farm, because they have got to be the world’s greatest idiot.

“I mean with their withdrawal from Rugby League, employment of casualised labour, what we are watching is the complete collapse of their support base.

“The only taste in our mouths now is a bad taste. That’s what XXXX leaves in our mouths.

“People say well what do we do? Well drink something else. I myself, I’m a rum and milk man. But I wouldn’t suggest that to everybody,” Mr Katter said.

Katter pleased 'tyranny of distance' eased at Four Ways


Hon Bob Katter MP for Kennedy is pleased Four Ways (Burke and Wills Roadhouse) is now benefitting from state of the art mobile technology following the activation of a new Telstra mobile base station in the area under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).

In June 2015 the Kennedy electorate received funding for 18 mobile blackspot locations and a further 14 locations in 2016, to be rolled out over three years, Four Ways was as one of them. Mr Katter listened to the concerns of locals as he travelled through his electorate in making these nominations and heaped praise on the local fighters in Kennedy who advocated for better mobile communications services.
Four Ways and the surrounding area now has access to Telstra’s 3G and 4GX mobile coverage, allowing the community to keep in contact with family and friends and run their businesses more effectively, whether by speaking on the phone or using a range of online services.

Mr Katter said the tyranny of distance was something that his electorate had long strived to overcome.

“We’ve got a lot of black spots and I think it’s only right we’ve received this funding, where it’s so important. In Four Ways any car accidents that occur in that area means communication is absolutely vital – they are a case of life and death so we have very much appreciate the hard work of people in the electorate who have helped to achieve this wonderful break through.

“My family nearly perished when my father got bogged outside McKinlay and suffered 3rd degree burns on his hands and knees, we thought his number was up.

“To someone in the city mobile coverage seems like a small thing, but when a family member nearly perishes, it shows how valuable these things are.

“Work output has increased by 30% due to mobile phones, whereas before we had dead running time in the car without mobile service.

“Each blow we strike against the tyranny of distance, is therefore a strike for our freedom,” Mr Katter said.

Katter, "Ethanol is answer to national security"


KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Hon Bob Katter MP says that when it comes to national security there is only one answer; Australia must produce its own fuel. Mr Katter’s comments come in response to Parliament's National Security Committee who last week said Australia's low fuel supplies need to be bolstered within six months to protect national security.

Most of the Nation’s fuel is now imported after the closure of a number of Australia’s oil refineries – half of it coming from the South China Sea. The International Energy Agency claims if imports were blocked or withheld, Australia would run out of oil in just 49 days, rather than recommended 90 days – a terrifying thought in terms of national security.

Mr Katter said that Australia is one of the only countries who have no indigenous supply of petrol and that every other country on earth has moved to ethanol.
“If you look at the map of the world, the percentage is Australia and the oil producing countries. The thing about Australia is that we can be self-sufficient tomorrow. We are a massive grain producer; the Americans get most of their ethanol from grain. The Brazilians get most of their ethanol from sugar cane. We are one of the biggest sugar cane exporters in the world as well.

“Just three dams in North Queensland, and I jotted down the figures, would produce 17% of Australia's entire fuel requirements. But the Federal Government has decided to send $25 billion a year to the Middle East to buy oil instead of sending it into regional Australia.

“Americans are now 42% self-sufficient, 11% ethanol, 22% shale oil, and this is about 30% indigenous. So they will move to protect themselves - every other country on earth has, and we haven't. There could be a trade war or a genuine hot military conflict that doesn't involve us; it could just deny us the supply that would end up coming here.

“How have we got to the stage where it is only effectively a couple of weeks supply, especially when supply would be needed to potentially literally fuel the military.
“How have we fallen to this stage? Not about production but national storage?
“Every time I have raised the issue, we get a lecture on free markets, and not telling people what to put in their petrol tanks. We already do, we took lead out of the petrol. Lead is less harmful than these fine particles. There are 13 carcinogens in petrol, so that is the fine particles that come out your exhaust fumes coated in carcinogens - This is not good. It is a serious health problem in Sydney and to a certain extent of Melbourne and Brisbane.

“The benefit to the grains industry is 60% increase in grains prices. On the sugar industry, 23% benefit. Both of those industries cannot compete against the Americans, the big boys of grain, and against the Brazilians, the big boys of sugar, but those industries are collapsing because we do not enjoy the subsidy that comes from ethanol - But it is not about that. It should be about fuel security for the protection of our nation,” Mr Katter said.

Lifesaving ATV hits the beach


Mission Beach Surf Life Saving club will be able to cover more of the pristine beach, with their new addition, thanks to a grant from the Surf Life Saving & Beach Safety Equipment Fund (BSEF).
The brand new $18,000 ATV is vital for patrolling the beach said Malcolm Davison, President Mission Beach Surf Life Saving Club:
“Mission Beach is a very long beach to patrol and due to our coastal environment, our ATVs don’t last too long and a new one was desperately needed.  This is a very expensive piece of equipment and not something the club could afford without this funding.  We put on record our thanks to Shane Knuth for giving his support toward the grant application.”


Mr. Knuth, who was at the club to inspect the new ATV, said modern techniques were important when patrolling North Queensland beaches;


“ATV’s and now drones are being used to better monitor our beaches and potentially save lives. With the continual threats of crocodiles, stingers and rips, the ability to identify dangers and get to swimmers quickly, could be the difference in saving a life,” said Mr Knuth.


“I was really happy to support the club for this grant and any others in future which can assist them in performing their life saving duties.”

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