Australia would share the spoils of an NQ state’s potential riches

11 July 2013:Instead of missing out on substantial infrastructure and development spending, North Queensland would boom if it formed its own state, KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter told a media conference at the region’s ‘capital’ of Townsville today.

“In the same week that the government said for the first time ever that they would spend nothing on NQ Roads, they announced a pay increase for themselves which is more than what almost everyone receives as a standard income,” said Mr Katter.

“This week we were informed for the first time ever in Queensland history there will be no money spent on road improvements for the region north of Townsville at all. Not one dollar.

“The LNP Premier, a former Brisbane Mayor, says that they haven’t got any money – yet they can find $1 billion to build a pleasure palace for his senior ministers and this year is spending a billion dollars more than the ALP did in its final year of government.

“They now hold the record as the most wasteful government in history. It took the ALP 20 years to get to that level and it’s taken this mob two.

“When we were in government, we sealed an average of 100km a year of dirt road. Under the ALP probably 30km a year was averaged, but under the LNP – nil.

“This is so disappointing for the residents of this region who have to live with very dangerous single-line highways – like the alternative northern highway from Atherton to Charters Towers, which in flood season cannot be used because around 60km of single-lane is inundated; or the longer tourist route from Cairns to Normanton where around 50km-60km of single lane bitumen is dangerous in the dry season due to poor visibility from road train dust , and dangerous in the wet from wet road shoulders.

“These unsafe roads are used every year by thousands of grey nomad caravans, livestock and produce trucks, as well as general transport.”

Mr Katter said the northern part of the state would continue to suffer as long as it remains joined with the south.

“We have no dams (with the exception of a small dam in Atherton), we have no base load power stations, and yet if were a separate country we would be the most rich country on Earth. We have all this water but we can’t use any of it, because their laws prevent us from having fishing or a timber industries. Their laws prevent our First Australians from getting a title deed or having a beer after work.

“But a separate state would facilitate the building of a transmission line to the giant North West mining area and into the giant Galilee Basin coal fields, as well as a $10 billion a year ethanol industry from 12 dams with a $12 billion prawn industry.

“It would enable North Queensland to realise its full potential – and that would benefit not just southern Queensland, but all of Australia.”