22 August 2015: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today warned the Queensland Government that the Gulf and Mid-West would not stand by and allow its water resources to be allocated to corporate farming.
The Queensland Government today released an amended Gulf Water Resource Plan, which includes a competitive tender process for general unallocated water reserves from the Flinders and Gilbert River. However, the Gilbert River catchment reserves will not be made available until after the environmental impact assessment process has been completed for the proposed Integrated Food and Energy Developments (IFED).
Mr Katter said today that the plan would amount to nothing more than corporate farming, which was of no value to the people of Australia.
“Whilst we welcome the Minister’s positive comments on water development, there is no way in the world we’re going to stand aside and see all of our water given to corporations.
“Because that is what is proposed here. Between IFED and talk of tendering, there is no doubt that all we’re talking about is corporate farming, which is worth nothing to our communities nor the people of Australia.
“Scams galore, in the way of the Cubbie Station type now owned by the Chinese, are the way of the future. The only prominent names in the current IFED proposal were both involved with Cubbie Station when it was sold.
“If anyone thinks that the people of the Gulf and Mid-West are going to stand idly by and see their water resources given away to the major corporates, they’d better think again.
“We need to get out of our corporate thinking and start looking after the people of Australia, instead of the globalist corporate models.
“The Minister I think will do the right thing, but he has to understand that to date the corporate and environmentalist cart has been put in front of the interests of the people that live in the Gulf.
“The only proposals that currently exist outside of the Upper Burdekin Irrigation Scheme (UBurIS) are corporate proposals, and they will yield no benefit to the local communities whatsoever.
“We are in the process of negotiations with the State members representing these areas and we are determined that the interests of Australians living in these areas will be paramount.
“The benefits of irrigation should flow to everyone that lives in these areas, the townies, the contractors, the workers, the cattlemen and it seems to me the three corporate proposals deliver no benefit to any of those people,” Mr Katter said.