On the day of the 2016-17 Federal Budget, and a year after the $5 Billion in concessional loans for Northern Australia was announced in the 2015-16 Budget, not a cent has been spent. KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter told the LNP Government today to stand on its record of what it HAS done for Northern Australia over the past 3 years, not what it’s ‘Gunna Do’.
“Both the ALP and the LNP have no understanding that we do not want to hear what they are 'going to do'.
Mr Katter said to this LNP Government “You've been there for three years, and you've been there for 14 of the last 20 years; why haven't you done it?
“You've had all this time and now you tell us you're going to do it next time. Well, 'going to do it' is not good enough.” Mr Katter said.
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill 2016, (the legislation for the $5 billion Northern Australian
Concessional Loans), was only introduced into the Parliament last month. Today it was sent to the senate a second time – raising doubts if it will be passed before a double dissolution election and a year after being announced.
Mr Katter who was a Senior Minister for the best part of a decade in the long-standing Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen Queensland Government stated that cabinet would never have contemplated going into an election stating ‘this is what we are gunna do’.
“When I was in a government that won every single election for, I think, 35 years, we did not go to an election saying what we were going to do, because that is an advertisement against you. The immediate question, then, that leaps to people's minds—is: 'Why haven't you done it?
Mr Katter also expressed apprehension at where the $5 billion concessional loan monies for Northern Australia would be spent; and questioned whether the funds would go to Australians or to Foreign owned corporations:
“As a person at a distance, I say the Ord River stages 2 and 3 will easily be the biggest farming operation in Australia, and it will be foreign owned. The biggest farming operation in Australia at the moment is Tasman Farms; it is foreign owned. The third biggest operation in Australia is Cubbie Station; it is foreign owned. What the hell do we own?
“If you want to know where the money is, $23 billion of superannuation money is shipped overseas and put into the roulette wheel of the American stock market. That is a wonderful use of our money! If people knew where their superannuation was going, they would lie awake at night in a cold sweat,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter then focused on successive ALP and LNP government’s lack of spending on development infrastructure and the projects which will generate returns and jobs in Northern Australia.
“For the last 25 years, I have not known of a developmental project financed by the government anywhere in Australia.
“When the Liberals announced an infrastructure package to boost the Australian economy, it was roads and rail in the city.
“What do you get for a $5,000 million tunnel in Brisbane? A few thousand people get home a few minutes early to watch the television!
“If that $5,000 million were used to build a railway line into the Galilee, I would give you $4,000 million a year in revenue for the Australian people. I would give you 20,000 jobs, for the next hundred years.
“If it were used on the Hells Gate Dam and the Upper Herbert River proposals, the two water projects have an income of $4,000 million a year,” Mr Katter said.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter is relieved the Mission Beach Clump Point “breakwater” will be constructed and the alternative proposal has been scrapped.
“The money has been redirected from the ‘rock sausage’ to the breakwater at Mission Beach’, said Mr Katter
Mr Katter has been supporting the community’s fight for the development for over 30 years.
“I give thanks to the people who have fought for this for an unbelievable 30 years. The late Helen Wiltshire and her brother James Mort, Tony Lee (probably the most strident voice) Peter Dore, Ken Fox, Robert Mackay, Les Blennerhassett, Annette Treseder, Richard Giuliany. I deeply apologise to the many people whose names are too numerous for me to list here.
For people to have kept the faith and to have kept battling at this for 30 years…. Power to you. All that you see in North Qld today is built by people like you.
I’ve been actively involved in politics for 45 years and I’ve never seen a group that has stayed the distance like this. Sadly only two of the original group (Tony Lee and Myself) are still with us today. It should be an inspiration to others that if you are right, no matter how many obstacles you endure, you keep on.”
But Mr Katter will not forget the ugly politics that has clouded the proposal:
“I do not hesitate to show my anger and disgust at members of the old Cassowary Coast Council and the State Member of Parliament (ex-Minister).
The Federal Government’s $5.5 million has been sitting there now for four or five years. The State Government doubled the figure two weeks after my announcement. But the State Government’s $11 million has also been sitting there for four or five years when the local Member was arguably the relevant Minister (the decision maker).
I single out Allister Pike. Allister had his own business interests and he didn’t make any secret of his position and the stand that he took was against us. But he was open and honest and that’s more than I can say for the other people and their cowardly bushwhacking of the people in Mission Beach who are working so hard to try and better their community. I’d love to bring out the details of exactly what occurred and the nasty, despicable nature of what transpired behind the scenes but I’ll leave it at that.”
Mr Katter describes Mission Beach as “one of the most beautiful tourist destinations on earth”. But the community has experienced economic hardship in recent years:
“We lost 120 jobs at Dunk Island, Bedarra Island went into a very low operation and 23 businesses closed in Mission Beach.”
Mr Katter believes the breakwater will be key to the economic survival of the town:
“It will provide safe anchorage for 70 or 80 boats with all weather, dry-foot access. Economists believe $100,000 per boat will be injected into the local economy.
I received a letter from Castaways Resort, Dunk Island Resort and Bedarra Island Resort. If these tourist operators can go ahead with their proposals which are contingent upon proper boating access then you’re looking at millions being injected into the economy each and every year from now on.”
23 April 2016: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter welcomed the liquidation of Queensland Nickel, but warned the war is not yet won.
“The aim is to get Qld Nickel re-opened and operating. Today is helping us in the battle to win the war – which is to recreate those 2000 jobs, the 750 direct jobs.
Mr Katter, whose electorate of Kennedy’s southern coastal boarder is just north of the Queensland Nickel Yabula refinery, estimates that 200 of the workers probably reside in the electorate of Kennedy.
Mr Katter has paid tribute to Alan Jones and the workers who stood up and fought for fast-tracking the liquidation process at a workers public meeting on Monday 11 April. Following pressure from the meting the Minister announced an expedited process.
Liquidation now allows workers to access the Federal Government’s entitlements scheme. The entitlements are reported to be as much as $74m.
“The people that went to the workers meeting two weeks ago, to the great Alan Jones who travelled from Sydney to Chair the meeting and to the worker’s committee who organised the meeting – they are all great heroes.
“Again we thank the workers who stood up and fought. They were not going to roll over and cop it. They forced the Government’s hand and said ‘come back to the world of reality, this is a few weeks or months wages’. That is so easy for the Government to do.
“But have no illusions to reopen Queensland Nickel, it requires $100m guarantees from the State Government and a similar guarantee from the Federal Government. We will be working closely with the worker buy-out group,” Mr Katter said.
“Every single person in the greater Townsville region has a vested interest in Queensland Nickel reopening and Townsville once again being one of the global centres of mineral processing - refining copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc.
“There will not be a person in Townsville that will not feel some pain if this nickel plant stays closed. I represent around 200 of those workers, and as far as I’m concerned the battle is just starting.
“Stand on your hind legs and fight - you might be amazed what you can achieve.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has backed the Australian Party’s payroll tax reduction plan, refuting Treasurer Andrew Fraser’s assessment that it would result in a $900 million revenue loss in its first year of implementation.
“The CCIQ’s support of the Katter’s Australian Party payroll tax reduction plan demonstrates that at last there is a party focused on restoring business and industry in Queensland. The CCIQ’s estimate comes in at $300 million and is very similar to our costing for this initiative” said State Leader, Aidan McLindon.
Katter’s Australian Party ‘Man with the 3D Plan’ today spoke in praise of the Channel 7 article featuring Colleen Murray’s prosthetic ear replacement in Melbourne.
“These are the sort of life changing moments that can become everyday events if you, Longman voters, have the courage to help build my vision here in Caboolture.” Mr Kennedy said when hearing of the Channel feature last night.
“The people of Longman will be able to achieve similar results and organ and limb replacements will be able to be performed right here in Caboolture. The future is here in Longman and the future in all manufacturing is 3D print manufacturing. My proposed 3D Print university, research and manufacturing facility will bring Australia into the 21st Century. Along with it will come thousands of jobs to the 3D park and area while saving our motor vehicle industry and returning money, jobs and prosperity to the people of Longman, and all Australians.
“Bob Katter has worked tirelessly to save our assets, now it’s your turn to bring back the jobs that so often have been exported overseas,” KAP candidate Brad Kennedy said today.
The KAP candidate has worked tirelessly on this project including paying his own way this year to China to visit a similar project being developed there.
“Now is the time to act as the technology is still in its infancy. To miss this opportunity is to rob our children of what is a very exciting period in our history. I have the passion and the persistence to see this through and I ask you, the voters of Longman, to come with me on this journey and vote 1 Brad Kennedy on Saturday,” the Katter candidate said today.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has today expressed his disgust at the LNP Government delaying the decision to sell off Kidman and Co to the Chinese until after the likely Federal election on July 2. He has warned Australians the LNP will sell off our country – the question is ‘will it be before or after an election?’
“The Government can ‘kid’ some of the people some of the time. They can ‘kid’ some of the people all of the time. They can ’kid’ all of the people some of the time but they can’t ’kid’ all of the people, all of the time!” Mr Katter said.
It was reported today Treasurer Scott Morrison has avoided making an election issue of the Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to the Chinese by delaying the decision until after the election. The $371 million sale of Kidman & Co cattle empire in the N.T equates to roughly 1.3 per cent of Australia’s total land mass.
Mr Katter said, “Anyone who would accept this cynical maneuver by Scott Morrison is not a patriotic Australian. You absolutely know the Government is going to flog off a giant pastoral area in the Northern Territory to the Chinese.
Why did foreign powers in the forties try and invade us, when you can just simply buy us? And the LNP and ALP are selling us very cheaply.”
Mr Katter recalls a front page of the Australian Financial Review last November as a canary in the coal mine for Chinese buy of Australian agribusiness:
“On the front page of the Fin Review (9 Nov 2015) there’s Josh Frydenberg with the Chinese port owner handing out $5 billion, ‘Foreign investors tempted with $5b Top End development loans’ was the heading.
Please… fellow Australians wake up and stand up. The LNP and ALP are selling out your country from underneath you. You will have no resources that can earn you any money and you will be under the iron fist of Chinese corporations, almost all of who are controlled by the Chinese Government.
Anyone who thinks the Kidman purchase is where it‘ll be stopping, believes in the tooth fairy.”