The Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has responded to claims made by Treasurer Curtis Pitt that a state of North Queensland would not be economically viable.
“Queensland’s income comes almost solely from the four C’s: coal, cane, cattle and copper — all almost exclusively come from North Queensland. And the tourism between Mackay and Cairns is bigger than the Gold Coast. The base of the state’s economy comes from the north,” said Mr Katter.
Mr Katter doesn’t dispute the regional domestic product in North Queensland is less than South Queensland, as stated by the Treasurer in the Courier Mail yesterday.
“Our lower GRP is proof of the need for a separate state for North Queensland. We cut the cane, we dig the copper, we muster the cattle and we ‘aint getting the benefit.”
Respected Economist at DSEconomics, and regular columnist in the Townsville Bulletin, Colin Dwyer has published in The Bulletin today (1 April 2016) a strong quantitative economic position for a separate state of North Queensland:
Currently about 20% of QLD revenue is generated from Coal, Base metals and a small amount of LNG gas mining royalties. Most of the coal is produced in North Queensland and all of the base metals are produced in North Queensland. Mining royalties represent roughly $4 to $5 Billion, most of which could be spent in a new North Queensland state and not SEQ.”
If a new state of North Queensland where to receive the current Queensland GST funding share from the total GST pool of about $56B, then North Queensland would receive about $2.5 to $3Billion this year.
If we then consider the additional revenue streams such as rail and freight charges from agriculture and mining, payroll taxes, stamp duties on residential and commercial property sales and home insurance, ports revenue, electricity and other GOC revenue, its obvious North Queensland is fiscally viable and more than likely will prosper into the future.
Mr Katter believes the examples of other states matter in this debate,
“Curtis Pitt said that we can’t go it alone. Would he please go tell Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory, the ACT and to Western Australia. We are double to the size of most of them and equal to the size of all of them and they all stand on their own,” said Mr Katter.