6th December 2013: KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter used Question Time to ask the Treasurer if the Federal Government and Treasury will continue to provide the strong support for the mighty Pentland irrigation scheme.
“The money that was set aside by the ALP Federal Government for the copper string project remains in the budget and I am committed to ensuring that it goes to where it needs to be – here in north Queensland– to generate jobs, drive the local economy and prosperity in this great region.
“The project would mean incredible things for both the people of the coastal and inland communities in the north by producing of ethanol, sugar, electricity and open our vast land for agricultural production,” said Mr Katter.
The Pentland Project is projected to generate 800 megawatts per year of base and peak load power and has the potential to generate $30,000M a year.
“The Project would provide cheaper, clean and limitless electricity which would meet all of north Queensland’s current power requirements and most importantly, it feeds electricity into the Galilee Basin,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter began his question by officially announcing that the Treasurer had been “accorded the highest of appellations, the title of Honorary North Queenslander”.
“In light of this august title and its obligations and in the spirit of Christmas, could the Treasurer assure his fellow North Queenslanders that the ‘self-funded’ mighty Pentland irrigation project, which would produce over $1000m of ethanol, electricity and cattle stock feed, plus a power station, continue to receive the strongest support from Treasury and the Federal Government?” questioned Mr Katter.
The Treasurer confirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to the project, stating that North Queensland has the “capacity to be in the engine room of the Australian economy in the 21st century”.
After extensive pressure from Mr Katter, in April 2013, the former ALP Federal Government announced a commitment of $2.5million towards the compilation of a commercial report of the power component association with the colossal project which would see some 126,000 ha of land accessed for the viability of agriculture, coal, mining and energy production.
The commercial study is progressing with a team from GHD Hill Michael working under the guidance of a local steering committee to identify investment opportunities and development in the north.