Category Archives: Katters Australia Party
State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has labelled the State Government and the Queensland Greens hypocrites for posing as environmental champions while at the same time chronically ignoring of the wave of prickly acacia engulfing the state.
Mr Katter said it was outrageous that Labor, and the Greens who have so far been silent on the issue, were sitting idle and refusing to make more funds available while the African weed was destroying the north and mid-west plains.
The Traeger MP said he was at a loss to understand why the Palaszczuk State Government had refused to adhere to a supposed ‘agreement’ made with the Federal Government in March that would see a $10 million ‘war chest’ unlocked to fight the highly-invasive weed.
The funds were due to see action on the ground from last month, but the Palaszczuk Government has denied it agreed to provide the money.
It has made clear it will not allocate the $5 million share that a joint media release circulated by the two governments had promised it would.
Mr Katter said the anticipated $10 million in State and Federal funding was welcomed, but at the end of the day it was grossly insufficient to deal with the weeds crisis.
He said Queensland landholders desperately needed support in controlling prickly acacia on their properties, and there were many ways the State Government could assist with this.
This could include providing land rent rebates to those who proved they were successfully controlling the weed on their properties, Mr Katter said.
“The most current estimates we have say that prickly acacia is costing our agricultural industries more than $4 billion dollars a year in costs and lost productivity, with the most affected area the Mitchell Grass Downs region in central Queensland,” he said.
“You may not be able to see the problem from the cities, but believe me a large portion of our environment is in an unnatural and unhealthy state because of this weed.
“The problem is thrown into the laps of our graziers every year, and they fork our millions of dollars trying to contain prickly acacia with little assistance from government.
“Prickly acacia infestation has increased from around 6.6 million hectares 20 years ago to around 33 million hectares today – it’s a cancer in the bush.
“It is important also that we focus on the weed control activity in the Gulf where the problem is the worst.
“I have great concerns that the former Federal Minister for Agriculture wanted to pork barrel all the federal funds into just his electorate in the central west when the majority of the problem is in the Southern Gulf.
“Regardless, no one is interested in the particulars of what deal may or may not have been struck by the government, and this is not an issue that should be politicised by either levels of Government.”
Mr Katter said the north and mid-west was desperate to see some genuine leadership from the State Government on prickly acacia.
The Palaszczuk Government has only spent $2.7 million on dealing with the weed since it gained government in 2014.
In comparison, Labor has given $3.5 billion to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation for reef protection and preservation activities in the same amount of time.
Prickly acacia is a highly-invasive, thorny African weed that was brought to Australia as a shade and fodder tree.
It strips land productivity by causing erosion, decreasing pasture and out-competing other native vegetation for water, and is hugely problematic in that it can transform natural grasslands into desolate thorny scrub.
from Jim O’Toole
Farmers in Bob Katter’s Kennedy electorate have been warned the Liberal candidate in the upcoming election has agreed with Labor’s intention of halting all land clearing in Australia.
Liberal Frank Beveridge, along with a Labor hopeful, at a candidates forum held in Mareeba two weeks ago said he was “100 per cent behind” Labor’s harsh clearing laws.
Some members of the audience expressed astonishment at hearing a Liberal candidate support clearing laws which had brought the state to a standstill and mercilessly prosecuted farmers through the courts for knocking down a tree or shrub in their paddocks.
Mareeba is a large farming and grazing district to the west of Cairns which has supported Bob Katter for decades as a true representative of rural Queenslanders who has consistently opposed Labor’s stringent vegetation management laws.
Katter said the Labor Party and now it seemed the Liberals had no interest in the rural sector and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad would like to see it closed down forcing farmers out of business.
Meanwhile Lakeland farmers after a meeting with government representatives have reported that the State Government plans to further penalise farmers by charging them licence fees to cultivate their fallowed paddocks.
Whatever happened to freehold rights which the duopoly has trashed?
State Leader of Katters Australian Party Robbie Katter said the next election would see Labor lose its majority by KAP getting at least three more members elected.
He said his team would be in a powerful position to clean up the ALP and LNP mess by reversing draconian legislation.
Katters Australian Party leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has fired a warning shot at the outgoing Member for Leichhardt for again failing First Australians.
During a press conference in Cairns yesterday he promised to deliver housing funds power back to the remote local government bodies.
Mr Katter has been integral in the fight against the Federal Government alongside delegations of Indigenous Mayors in Canberra and around the electorate after the Government removed its Indigenous housing funding, handballing the issue to the State Queensland Government in the 2018 Federal budget and again this year.
Mr Katter said that during meetings held in Parliament, he was certain the money would have been allocated given a Federal election was imminent in a marginal seat – Leichhardt.
“Myself and half a dozen Indigenous Mayors had meeting-after-meeting with Minister Scullion and others, and I was certain he would give the money. To send the outgoing Member for Leichhardt into the election without the housing money was a foolish move. I think he’ll be crucified; he deserves to be crucified. The useless bastard.
“If I was in the Party in a marginal seat, I would have read the riot act to the Prime Minister. I would have said ‘get me the money or I’m walking. I won’t run in the seat if you don’t give it to me’. But of course, the outgoing Member for Leichhardt did nothing; that big, fat, blood-sucking, useless, toad.”
Mr Katter said house construction was one of the last decent jobs available to First Australians and that without the funding, they have since lost their Blue Cards and has ultimately widened the gap rather than closed it.
“The situation is appalling. The only bit of income they had was from the housing jobs.
“I was absolutely staggered. Yarrabah, the biggest community in Australia, has been left out. I was getting way back in the 1980s in the Queensland Government $25m a year then – about $60m now – for housing.
“So what do they have left?
“You’ve taken their timber rights off them.
“You’ve taken their quarry rights off them.
“You’ve taken their right to cattle off them.
“You’ve taken their right to water off them.
“You’ve taken their hunting rights of them.
“What have you left them, except Government jobs which they won’t get because they’ve all lost their Blue Cards. So what are they doing now?
“The only jobs left were in housing and this absence in funding destroyed them. Thank you Mr Government”, Mr Katter said.
“KAP Senate candidate Greg Wallace who is a First Australian said 70 per cent of houses would have maybe around 15 people in a house which was designed for four, with little tiny windows and costing $650,000.
“When Greg and Noel Pearson’s brother, Gerhardt Pearson, were in charge, they were building housing for one-tenth of that price because they were using work-for-the-dole; totally Indigenous local labour – they even made the concrete blocks.
“Under the Labor Party the block-making was abolished and never restored by the LNP. Then the LNP took away the housing money.
“Well they found the money for the Northern Territory for Nigel Scullion, he found it for himself. But the Outgoing Member for Leichhardt who is in the Government – who should have threatened to not run the seat again if they didn’t deliver this money – got nothing. Did nothing.”
Mr Katter said he had already received agreement from the Prime Minister to restore the market gardens for First Australian communities in the Far North and was confident that should there be a change in government, his positive working relationships with the proposed relevant Ministers would result in getting Indigenous housing back on the table along with the ‘work for the dole’ program.
“Don’t forget, it was Kevin Rudd after all that originally implemented the $1 billion Indigenous housing fund. Their track record is far superior in this space than the other lot of useless bastards,” Mr Katter said.
Sabotage of hundreds of election signs by Greens supporters, a firebomb, a stolen trailer, prosecution of a union member and a protracted offensive against independent candidates by News Ltd’s Cairns Post newspaper so far have marred the 2019 federal election campaign.
Candidates said although they knew they would be ignored or maligned by the Cairns Post, the newspaper’s exceptionally favourable promotion of sitting Liberal member Warren Entsch has gone far beyond expectations.
Entsch was the champion of gay marriage legislation last year which divided the nation on religious principles. Analysis of the plebiscite results since the passing of legislation has revealed the results were dodgy at the very least.
Vote Australia analysed the Australian Electoral Commission database from where the Australian Bureau of Statistics got its addresses. More then 248,000 envelopes marked “return to sender not known at this address” came back to the ABS.
The ABS did not give these names to the AEC enabling it to cleanse the roll.
These fictitious names remain on the electoral roll which allows those having access to these entries to register a dud vote at the federal election, a ploy developed by the Labor and Liberal parties some 30 years ago.
At the last federal election according to the AEC, at least 18,000 persons voted more than once in support of the ALP slogan ‘vote early and vote often comrade.’
The Townsville seat of Herbert, being hotly contested by Clive Palmer, was ‘won’ by the ALP at the last election by just 37 votes.
In spite of hundreds of requests to Prime Minister Morrison from constituents, he has steadfastly refused to follow the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to make voters provide identification when voting.
Leichardt is a marginal seat and voting fraud could be a lifeline for Warren Entsch or the saviour of ALP candidate and union hack Elida Faith.
Katters Australian Party candidate and charter boat skipper Dan McCarthy now is being attacked through social media by the Electrical Trades Union which is a sure indicator of his surge in the polls.
Once upon a time such election frivolity occurred only in corrupt Asian or African dictatorships, but it seems these tin pot nations had their training upgraded in Australia.
by Jim O’Toole, Townsville bureau
2 April 2019: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has commented on the 2019/20 budget.
- Budget surplus of $7.1 bn
General Budget comments:
“For the first time in 30 years our Government has committed to building dams and we praise all of the people that have fought the great battle to secure this wonderful breakthrough”.
“Government is reduced to arguing that some people should get more, some should get less.
“KAP we want to make the cake bigger so everyone gets more,” Mr Katter said.
- NQ Water Infrastructure Authority – establish 12 March 2019 (roll out Hells Gates Dam, HIPCO, Big Rocks Weir)
“This authority streamlines and overrides hurdles we’ve been made to jump through for the past 30 years.”
- $11.6m Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme
“This is much needed and long overdue but we must go after with aggression. The North Australia Development Fund for the North Johnstone Transfer, the Upper Mitchell Dam, realignment of the Tully Hydro Penstock. Hell’s Gates Dam will supply almost all of North Qld’s baseload power, the Tully hydro realignment will provide all of North Qld’s peak load requirements.”
- $54m for Big Rocks Weir and Hell’s Gates
- $180m for Hughenden Irrigation Scheme (HIPCO)
“This is the culmination of a journey which started when my father took me, at the age of 18, to Charlie Phillott’s keyline irrigation scheme.
“The great battle for Bradfield, which we won, but then we watched within a year both the much maligned and greatest ever Bjelke Petersen Qld Government and the Malcolm Fraser Government both go down 11 months later.
“Hughenden will change the world as we know it. It is a template for 17 other schemes in North Qld and five in Northern Territory’s Western Gulf”
- $100bn over next decade
- $380m Townsville area
- Constructing stadium
- Port Channel Capacity Upgrade
- Preserving the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor
“My great grandfather paid for the original two cranes which created Port of Townsville. He did get repaid later. This is a welcome initiative and will mostly benefit the North West area.
“The upgrades to the railway line – that line is there to service Mt Isa – fertiliser, copper, silver, lead and zinc. The major beneficiary is my homeland.”
- Roads of Strategic Importance – $50m Cairns to Northern Territory border, $200m Tennant Creek to Townsville
- $2.2bn for Safer Roads
“The notorious Feluga intersection and the Silkwood Kurrimine intersections on the Bruce Highway are in urgent need of funding. Whilst it is not notorious, the Mareeba bypass is vital.
“We are going after these projects with super aggression.”
- $1bn to improve freight routes and access to ports
“I’m thinking very strongly in terms of Normanton, which is out for 1-2 months of the year at the present moment with flooding; and which will become over the next three years the major live cattle port export terminal in Australia.
- $100m over four years to 2022-23 for regional airports
“Innisfail’s Mundoo Airport must be shortlisted for assistance. Through cyclones and flooding, it’s the only all-weather airport for the 80,000 people between Townsville and Cairns”.
- $2.2bn to fix blackspots, ageing bridges and funding to Councils for roads.
“It’s absolutely vital. I deeply regret that, except for the Mulgrave River Bridge, almost every bridge in Kennedy would fit into this category”.
- Another $200m for the fourth round of Building Betters Regions Fund
“We have got money under this fund before. It is the ‘big key’ to the water development in Georgetown, Normanton and the Mid-West, Cloncurry and back to Hughenden which we vitally need.”
- $150,000 for Kennedy through the Stronger Community Program
- $272m over four years for the Regional Growth Fund
- $6.3bn drought support
- $3.3bn flood support
- Establishing the Future Drought Fund
- NQ Livestock Industry Recovery Agency – providing long-term assistance, including $1.7bn low-interest loans.
- $3.9bn Emergency Response Fund
- Income tax exemption for qualifying grants made to producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations affected by NQ floods
- $4.3m from 2019-20 to improve and maintain National Drought Map
- Funding for schools in flood-affected areas
- Additional $3m mental health services for flood-affected people in North and Western Queensland
- One-off payment of $1,000 to students who between 25 January and 14 February 2019 received a qualifying payment and whose parental home is in the local government areas of Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Douglas, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay, Richmond, Townsville or Winton. NB Qualifying payments are Assistance for Isolated Children Basic Boarding Allowance, Assistance for Isolated Children Second Home Allowance, Assistance for Isolated Children Distance Education Allowance, Abstudy school fees. This will be paid by 23 April 2019.
- $300m for two grant programs for restocking where farmers can access up to $400,000 to rebuild and restock.
- $5m over five years as part of $10m joint funded program with Queensland Government to tackle prickly acacia.
- $5m grant to the CWA to provide financial assistance’
“The prickly acacia has taken over one million of the five million hectares in the Mid-Western Gulf plains country. There’s controversy as to whether it’s an advantage or a weed and I’ve got to say that the ubiquitous nature of the tree, with no leaves for most of the year, I’m afraid on the other side of the fence, and I’m tremendously pleased at this money.
“Low Interest Loans– my rage at the current proposal, and I don’t want to pre-empt further discussions with Shane Stone, CEO of the NQ Livestock Industry Recovery Agency, but currently the scheme rescued the banks from their bad debt and imposes extra debt burden upon farmers.
“Banks wrote off their bad debts; under the current proposal, the banks’ bad debts have been removed and the farmers have been given an extra debt burden. That was no solution except for the banks.
$300m restocking: “This is much better – actual grants.”
- No Queensland funding for remote housing.
“The removal of the housing scheme is disastrous. Probably ¾ of the houses have an occupancy of 10-15 people in a house designed for 4-5 people. Desperately we need to recreate the housing scheme of the 80s utilising work for dole labour, exclusively local Indigenous labour, and give title deeds.
Bureau of Meteorology
- $77.2m over 23 years from 2019-20 to improve radar coverage in regional areas (including between Charters Towers and Hughenden, Burdekin and Flinders region rain gauges)
“This is vital because we did not have detailed rain gauges in 74-75 floods, in the upper flinders we were caught totally ambushed. Massive flooding did untold destruction; we didn’t know it was coming.”
- $137.8m over five years additional biosecurity funding
- $9.2m for yellow crazy ant
“Fantastically good news because we’ve raised repeatedly the issue of crazy ants.
“Biosecurity is essential, we have had constant breakdowns in quarantine, while most attributable to ‘free market’ policies, that just makes our case stronger for quarantine bolstering up.
Jobs and skills
- $525m skills package
- Create 80,000 new apprenticeships
- Double incentive payments to employers to $8,000 per placement
- New apprentices receive $2,000 incentive payment
- Ten new training hubs
- $62m to boost literacy, numeracy and digital skills
“We desperately need that (the $8,000 for employers for placements). We have numerous people in the mining industry at Mt Isa where the training skills have disappeared. Where there were 720 apprenticeships at MIMs there would be flat out being 2-3 dozen now (not entirely MIM’s fault). We would plead that the slipways, auto electricians, sugar mills, most of all our mining operations and Councils – they will benefit from this and we plead with them to take this money for NQ.
- $9bn for science research technology
- $20bn Medical Research Future Fund (previously announced)
“Medical research is one of the areas in Australia that is almost holding its own. I think it’s laudable that the government is concentrating on it.
- $80bn spend on healthcare
- $160m to improve Indigenous health
- $60m for James Cook University Tropical Enterprise Centre in Queensland to become Centre of Excellence in Tropical Medicine
- Upgrading Townsville Hospital
- Medicare Benefits Schedule, including diagnostic imaging for breast cancer and heart health checks
- $461m for youth mental health and suicide prevention
- 30 new Headspace centres
- Increased support for Indigenous youth
- Treatment for early psychosis
- Perinatal mental health
- Extra counselling for communities that have suffered natural disasters
- Increasing Breast Screen Australia from women aged 50-69 to 50-74
- $21.7m in 2019-20 for dental services in Queensland
- Heart of Australia, $12m three-year partnership providing mobile cardiology services. Heart of Australia will have two ‘Heart Buses’ on the road providing a number of health services on a fortnightly basis including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology to residents of 16 towns including Dalby, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, St George, Charleville, Quilpie, Roma, Cloncurry, Emerald, Barcaldine, Blackall, Longreach, Winton, Hughenden, Charters Towers, Moranbah, Richmond, Weipa, Cooktown, Sarina, Palm island, Biloela, Childers, Proserpine and Ayr.
“This service saves the lives of those in the bush who would not otherwise access heart related services.
“You are twice as likely to die of heart issues if you live in the bush. The work that this organisation is doing could be described as work by the Good Lord himself.”
- $550m over five years from 2017-18 to strengthen rural, regional and remote health outcomes, in particular creating a new junior training doctor program to support training in rural settings
- Additional $84.1m over four years from 2018-19 for the RFDS to increase dental care, mental health and emergency aeromedical services.
- $8.2m over four years from 2018-19 to improve access to maternity services for women in rural and remote areas.
- $793.9m over four years from 2018-19 for the rural health and multidisciplinary health program to encourage recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural and remote Australia.
“We are deeply appreciative but I don’t think that is going to get us where we need to be. There is an extra 100 places at JCU Medical School and we need an extra $150,000 to be paid to doctors serving in private practice in towns in NQ, and public-private practice in these towns as well.
“But the government’s efforts are laudable but we just need change of direction.
- 10,000 new home care packages
- Additional financial support for residential care (capital works with a focus on regions)
“There are 2,500 people that need to go into aged care centres and we probably have less than 200 beds – an appalling shortfall.
“The home care program actually came out of the Mid-West. The pilot program started in Richmond and Hughenden and we pay those great pioneers a tribute today, as we see the full flowering of their work.
“Meals on Wheels needs assistance – less regulation and more assistance.
- $84m for carer respite
“One of best initiatives by Government in the last 30 years.
- One-off energy assistance payment (for pensioners) – $75/singles, $125/couples
- $10m detailed evaluation feasibility projects in North and Central Queensland
“All we want is the freedom to revert to use our balance of power to secure ‘operating cost only’ for electricity. Currently $2,500 per year per household, will be reduced to under $700.
“The silly nature of solar panels and subsidies and the ‘save the planet brigade’ and the most outrageous profiteering by the State Government – takes it up to costs of $3000m a year in what is just a secret tax and falls part heavily on families young families and our retirees. These are the last people on the planet that you should be taxing.
- $300bn to schools, an increase of 63 per cent
- Local school community program
- New scholarship program – 1,000 students a year to study in regional Australia
- $453m to extend pre-school education
- $9.8m over four years for non-government distance education schools
- Tax cuts for low and middle income-earners:
- For taxpayers earning up to $126,000/year (better off each year – single income $1,080, families with dual income $2,160).
- More than 10 million Australians will benefit. 4.5m will receive the full tax cut. To start 1 July 2019.
- Decreasing tax rate 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent from 1 July 2024 – 94 per cent of taxpayers will pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar.
“Government is reduced to arguing that some people should get more, some should get less.
“KAP we want to make the cake bigger so everyone gets more.
- Cut tax to 25 per cent
- New $2bn fund
- Instant asset write-off increased and expanded from $25,000 to $30,000 for businesses with turnover of up to $50 million
“Don’t want to denigrate benefits but it’s not about micro rearrangements. The emphasis is shallow to say the least.
Banking royal commission
- $600 million for ASIC and APRA to implement royal commission findings
“I am sickened by that proposal. They are two of the most disgraceful institutions I have ever dealt with in my 50 years of political life. I can give case after case where they have failed to act.
“What they do with their time nobody knows.
“To think they’re still there and getting money I find sickening.
- Banning excessive credit card surcharges
- Protecting retirement savings from undue erosion from inappropriate insurance premiums and excessive fees
- Establishing the Australian Financial Complaints Authority
- Establishing a compensation scheme of last resort
- Significantly broadening and increasing civil penalties
- Increasing ASIC’s and APRA’s powers
- Requiring mortgage brokers to work in best interests of their clients
Mistreatment of people with a disability royal commission
- Half a billion dollars for royal commission into the mistreatment of people with a disability
- $60m increase to export marketing development grants
- $29.4m over four years to enhance agricultural exports and trade
Multinational tax avoidance
- Crackdown to raise $12bn.
That the government would crack down on multinationals: “I believe in the tooth fairy and that the abominable snowman comes from Bedourie.”
- $3.5bn Climate Solutions package ($2bn to go to working with farmers and Indigenous communities)
- $100m Environmental Restoration Fund to improve water quality and erosion
- $3.1m in 2019-20 in Queensland for critical threats such as feral animals and weeds in world heritage areas
- $150,000 for Kennedy for the Communities Environment Program for community-based groups
“Pig numbers in North Queensland are currently at 10.5 million. This figure explodes to 25 million within six years without adequate management.
“The cassowary, the symbol of NQ, is doomed; the eggs are taken by the pigs. The turtles are doomed; eggs laid on the beach are now being totally taken by the pigs. The Julia Creek dunnart, Australia’s most endangered species, cannot survive the pigs. In part or overwhelmingly the turbidity impacting the Great Barrier Reef has to be coming from the pigs.
“Nothing is being done by the Government to oppress the pigs at all.
“There has to be serious money put forward here, although with proper licencing, we don’t need much money at all. The young blokes will go out hunting, but I will be the first to say it has to be tightly controlled in terms of days and areas, so we have complete security,”
- $328 m for women’s safety
- $82.2m for frontline services for women and children
- $78.4m to provide safe places for people impacted by family and domestic violence
- $68.3m for domestic and family violence prevention
- $64m for counselling services
- $35m for support and prevention strategies for First Australians
- Safer Communities Fund for religious organisations
- Funding to prevent bullying
- Expanding the cashless debit card
- $337m for drug strategy
- $20.1m over four years from 1 July 2020 to expand no-interest loans of up to $1,500 for women experiencing family and domestic violence.
- $680m to support service men and women deployed overseas.
- Joint agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership between Australia and Singapore through the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative – 14,000 Singapore armed forces unilateral training for up to 18 weeks annually. One of the two sites in Greenvale. Singapore Government will provide $2.25bn, providing an estimated $50m spent in Queensland annually during construction. Construction will commence in third quarter of 2019.
- Extending the Farm Household Allowance (forced sale of livestock will be exempt from the income test)
- $8.7m over 11 years to set up mandatory code of conduct for dairy industry
- $1.9m to develop national agriculture workforce strategy
- $24.6m 2019-20 in Queensland for improving cattle supply chain
- $71.7m 2019-20 for northern Australia roads – Queensland component
- $2.9m 2019-20 for national leadership for agriculture innovation
- $15m for wild dog fencing
“I can’t believe that the LNP and the Nationals not only voted against a minimum price scheme for milk but argued against it. Using arguments that would oppose any survival program for rural industries.
“Farmers everywhere else in world get 41% of their income from the government. Our farmers get nothing from the government.
“We have an artificially high dollar, propped up to nearly twice its value.
“Beef and sugar industries have been cheated out of half their incomes because of an inflated dollar. Finally on the home market you only have 2 places to sell agriculture produce to – the supermarket duopoly. And the LNP and Nationals are running around talking about codes of conduct!
- $160m for two additional rounds of the Mobile Blackspot Funding Program.
Katters Australian Party targets Save the ‘Great Barrier Reef’ industry
North Queensland readers would find it more than interesting the Cairns Post newspaper has ignored this story
KAP Candidate for Leichhardt, Daniel McCarthy has today called for a forensic audit to be carried out on all Barrier Reef government funding warning that the ‘rivers of gold’ crisis funding being allocated to save a reef that doesn’t need saving have flowed for far too long and it was time to reveal to tax payers just how their money was being spent.
A select few crisis-crying people have done exceedingly well from millions of dollars in tax payer funded grants whilst the rest of the marine tourism industry in Cairns and Port Douglas have suffered tremendously.
“We have the third largest territorial sea of any nation yet no politicians currently in Canberra have the slightest grasp on reality with our oceans, and it now seems government doesn’t know or has been turning a blind eye to where the reef funding money has been funnelled and a full and thorough forensic audit will determine what’s been going on with the $102 million been spent on Crown of Thorns alone,” said Mr McCarthy.
The negative publicity in the world wide media is a result of outrageous false and misleading claims made by those milking the gravy train has destroyed the reputation of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
“The knock-on effect caused by the reef’s trashed reputation has flowed through the North.
“Cairns Port expansion plans are held to ransom by the Federal governments Reef 2050 plan along with the unnecessary State Government vegetation management laws and increased green-tape where virtually every farmer in North and Far North Qld has also been vilified along the way.
“It’s high time to restore integrity into science, policy and research funding for the Great Barrier Reef.”
The current media reports of the sacking of Prof Peter Ridd by James Cook University is currently before the courts and is deeply troubling.
“As far as I am aware Prof Ridd was simply offering a scientific view that the science in relation to reef funding should be quality controlled.”
Recently the Crown of Thorns starfish funding had been under scrutiny in wide spread revelations in the media.
“We all want to protect the GBR that’s for sure. However, I have been inundated with phone calls from people across the marine sector and the public who are absolutely ropable over the reef funding scandal that has come to light.”
McCarthy has a deep understanding of the threats and the reality of what’s actually happening on the reef, having worked on it for most the last 30 years and in every sector of the marine industry.
“I have long been concerned that the relationships and arrangements for reef funding were ‘a little cozy’ between a couple of individuals and their organisations and members of parliament, but what has been revealed in recent wide spread media of late it appears the situation stinks of jobs for the boys to say the least.”
Hard working Australian tax payers are having hundreds of millions of their dollars directed into the ‘save the Reef’ industry.
Now it appears some of this money may have been funnelled into saving for retirement, penthouses, expensive luxury cars, hobby farms on the Tablelands, overseas holidays and election campaign funding for a select few. It certainly does not pass the pub test.
Mr McCarthy is furious at many of the matters being raised particularly with what equates to ‘Donor Democracy.’
“If what is alleged in these media reports is true I think it disgraceful. Australian’s are fed up with seeing their money being swallowed up in deceptive, self-interested projects under the guise of saving things,” he said.
“I support Dr Peter Ridd’s proposal that at least one per cent of the funding that goes to the Great Barrier Reef is spent on checking the science, verifying the findings and providing quality assurance.”
There are many further questions to be asked as to why the Federal Government gave $440 million to a private company that never asked for the money nor has the capacity or idea as what they intend to do with it.
Curse less and dam more
by Viv Forbes, science writer
Water conservation peaked in Australia in 1972 – our last big dam was Wivenhoe in Queensland built 35 years ago.
Elsewhere in Australia, water conservation virtually stopped when Don Dunstan halted the building of Chowilla Dam on the Murray in 1970 and Bob Brown’s Greens halted the Franklin Dam in 1983 (and almost every other dam proposal since then).
The Darling River water management disaster shows that we now risk desperate water shortages because our population and water needs have more than doubled, and much of our stored water has been sold off or released to “the environment”.
However, we regularly see floods of water being shed by the Great Dividing Range, most of it ending up in the Pacific Ocean, while somewhere to the west of that watershed is in severe drought.
Our ancestors had the prudence and the will to build great assets like the Tasmanian and Snowy hydro schemes, Lake Argyle, Fairbairn Dam and the Perth to Kalgoorlie water pipeline? What are we building for our children?
Politicians can pass laws or find money for games, stadiums, climate jamborees, study tours, gifts to foreigners, green energy toys and useless giant batteries. Canberra alone spends a billion dollars every day.
Our engineers know how to lay large pipelines over hundreds of km to export natural gas, and bore road and rail tunnels through mountains and under cities and harbours.
But we cannot find the funds or the courage to build a couple of dams on the rainy side of the Great Divide somewhere between the Ross River at Townsville and the Clarence River at Grafton and some pumps, tunnels and pipes to use and release it into the thirsty Darling River basin.
Someone is always cursing either droughts or floods.
We need to curse less and dam more.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today continued his insurgency against the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 (TPP-11) as it heads into the Senate by unleashing a tirade on the Government’s claim that Australia will be ‘last in the queue’ should the bill be shot down.
“Most of my last speeches in Parliament have been what I’ve hoped are fierce attacks upon the hypocrisy of free trade; upon our industry representative organisations particularly in agriculture. All we’ve got out of these bodies in Canberra is a clapping of hands for every free trade deal.
“The Federal Government couldn’t drive the drover’s dog to a drink in the Murranji Track, and yet, they live in a world where their peculiar Adam Smith policies eliminate any reference to the assumptions upon which free markets are valid.
“Adam Smith would turn in his grave if his principles had been used to abolish arbitration in the dairy industry when there were 15,000 sellers in the market, and only two buyers: “Woolworths and Coles”.
“These people would fail the most elementary economics course at a reputable university and yet they continue on with the most crude and snivelling supine pathetic resort to the mantra of free trade when it has removed our car industry, made us petrol mendicants, blast production, halved our cement and steel industries and reduced us to two quarries: iron ore and coal.
“Take note, if the TPP-11 is signed it will be the greatest blow to democracy in 300 years, and will amount to nothing more than a new form of Corporate Colonialism.
“This agreement is not about trade, it’s about sovereignty,” Mr Katter said. “Governments will now be stripped of their power to regulate the behaviour of overseas companies and will face legal consequences if they do. The cigarette smoking case is a classic example.
“Companies will be able to come here under certain terms and conditions and no Government will be able to change those without fairly horrific consequences, if at all. It takes away our sovereignty and hands it over to the giant foreign owned corporations.
“Once in place, withdrawing from the TPP will ensure the wrath of countries infinitely more powerful than our own.
“Over the last two centuries America has constantly enforced these principals upon the Latin/American countries and reduced them to grinding poverty if not quite mendicant states”
Mr Katter expressed concern over the foreign workers who would be let into the country under the TPP agreement.
“Foreign workers will pour in and they are already at high levels, there are 600,000 foreign workers a year coming into an economy creating only 200,000 jobs a year. They are taking our jobs and undermining our pay and conditions, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Mr Katter said free trade had ravaged multiple agricultural industries in Australia, pointing to the US Free Trade Agreement as an example.
“The American free trade deal was about dairy, beef and sugar. The value to dairying was quoted as being the value of one free ice-cream a week for each farmer. The cattle industry has always had a fairly good deal on access to the US and the sugar industry was wiped like a dirty rag. It got nothing. The powerful ‘Florida cane mafia’, as they are called, laughed.
“The Americans on the other hand, wanted quarantine dramatically weakened. Our quarantine was dramatically undermined and our drug and pharmaceutical rules of entry dramatically weakened. They achieve both their goals, and it was hailed in the American congress as ‘wonderful for America’ and I quote: “I know Australia, there is a view that they got shafted, but I think there was some things in there for them”. Yes, there was, but we couldn’t find them.
“The Government told us how wonderful it was for us, but there were no specifics.
“These are the people that have halved our wage structure in the mining industry. They say labour costs are killing us. A decent income for our workers is what we strive for in this country. And what was once our great pride and achievement in the days of the Bjelke-Petersen/ McEwen Country Party governments, now it is apparently a mark of shame.
“I absolutely believe we are now retreating back to the days of colonialism, the only difference being that it is Corporate Colonialism and not Imperial Colonialism.
“We will continue the fight against the TPP-11 in the Senate by introducing an amendment and we plead with all Senators not to turn the control of their country into the hands of foreign corporations.”
Letter to the Editor
Liberal Member for Warrego urges ALP mates to remove Katter’s staff
The ongoing lies of Ann Leahy must be addressed. The Member for Warrego goes on like a broken record with her false claims the KAP preferenced Labor over the LNP at the last election. A simple fact check by visiting the Electoral Commission Queensland website, where all how to vote cards from the last election are recorded, puts Ann Leahy’s favourite fantasy to bed and exposes her willingness to deceive the public. Clearly the 22 LNP staff just aren’t enough when it comes to undertaking a simple fact check. I have requested a meeting with Ms Leahy so I can assist her on how to read how to vote cards.
As far as her reference to the KAP undertaking a ‘sweet heart deal’ with Labor at the previous Parliament, the Member for Warrego forgot to mention the fact the LNP also offered this so-called‘ sweet heart deal’ to the KAP. It’s also important to remember it was Peter Wellington who gave Labor government, not the KAP.
Ann Leahy receives $60,000 a year over and above her MP entitlement – for being an opposition spokeswoman. Apparently this isn’t even enough for get together facts right, but it is enough for her to spend a huge amount of time attacking the KAP rather than the government. Nice work if you can get it Ann. Being so flush with cash it would only be fair to highlight what Ms Leahy has done for her electorate and regional Queensland. Well, we all know not a single LNP member has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in this Parliament.
However, Ms Leahy did attend a hearing of an estimates committee that wasn’t her own in Brisbane and achieved…absolutely nothing. While she was busy achieving nothing in Brisbane, KAP members were out in our electorates. Of course it is a matter of record that the KAP, with support from Billy Gordon, blocked the Labor government’s vegetation management laws in the previous parliament.
Ann Leahy’s only impact on Queensland has been to ensure other regional MPs lost four staff and reduced their ability to help regional Queenslanders. The LNP’s voting record on rural issues, rather than the KAP, has been more closely aligned with the Labor Government such as the Dairy Bill, Rural Development Bank and the Budget from the previous parliament. Well done Ann, regional Queensland salutes you for all of your great work.
-Rob Katter, Member for Traeger
by Jim O’Toole in Brisbane
Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is having herself on, at the behest of the rabid, green Deputy Premier Jackie Trad thinking she can curb the growing influence of Katters Australian Party across the north by sacking their government employed staff.
One of the most mendacious media campaigns in recent years, naturally spearheaded by the left wing of the ABC, against Senator Fraser Anning and his now famous immigration speech has spectacularly backfired.
While it is a normal occurrence, Bob Katter has been mobbed by the old and young alike. It was evident at weekend functions across Shane Knuth’s state electorate of Hill and in Katters federal electorate of Kennedy, ordinary people, the quiet majority have emerged from their slumber.
Grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers and kids were lining up for photos with Katter like never before. Similarly in yet another failed attempt by the rather obnoxious socialist hosting the ABC’s Q&A, Tony Jones, Bob Katter was unable to leave the Mackay premises of the Q&A show after the program. Again he was mobbed by audience members who wanted to thank him for Anning’s speech and his contribution to the immigration debate.
As he explained to many, it was not only Anning’s call for a referendum on immigration, it was the odious reaction of the ALP/LNP duopoly which sparked life into a sleeping giant.
It is evident the Labor Party is running scared of KAP. On Sunday, in front of the ALP rent-a-crowd at a state conference, Palaszczuk promised to remove five of the KAP parliamentary staff because Robbie Katter refused to denounce Anning’s call for an immigration referendum.
It is plain to see the ALP is heavily reliant on the vote of Muslim immigrants.
In effect the not-so-smart Premier is purposely hindering the duties of an elected member which attracts three years goal under the Crimes Act 1995.
The ALP hierarchy was shocked when 75 per cent of respondents, ironically to an ABC poll said Fraser Anning should not apologise for his comments about Muslim immigration.
This sent the ALP into a frenzy and their knee-jerk reaction was to penalise KAP.
Now, most voters are not silly and older Brisbaneites should remember Annastacia’s father Henry, who was the member for the state seat of Inala for years. He even made it to Primary Industries Minister but it was no secret poor Henry was not the sharpest tack in the box.
Some scientists believe intelligence is hereditary and if so Annastacia missed the boat.
The bite she hasn’t seem coming will be from her ambitious deputy, Trad, who has made it known on several occasions, she wants the top job.
When the house comes tumbling down, Comrade Trad will pounce.
The ABC, setting the Marxist agenda for aspiring Communist politicians from all sides, targeted a completely innocuous phrase in Annings hallmark speech, trying to foment hate among middle eastern Muslims in Australia.
Fraser said in his revered speech: “We should go back to that and ban ALL immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive.
“The final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote.”
It is this phrase ‘,…the final solution…’ which the perfidious ABC, ALP and LNP have taken completely out of context, likening it to Hitler’s so-called holocaust.
This nation building speech is so monumental and significant, it will endure for a generation among parents, children, clergy, small businessmen, teachers of truth and hopefully genuine parliamentary representatives.
It should be mandatory reading in citizenship classes in every public and private school.
Like the ALP, this lying campaign has come back to bite the ABC. Fewer and fewer viewers among a dwindling audience now disregard the ABC as the leading source of news. Gone is the mantle of respectability, neutrality and accuracy, if these attributes have existed over the past 20 years.
It seems the ABC, Guardian and Fairfax have modelled their news gathering and dissemination on that of US fake news channel CNN.
If we had a leader unafraid of Murdoch, Fairfax and the ABC and astute as Donald Trump these insidious news agencies would be shut down, their monopolies broken up and smaller, reliable news sources would fall into place.
Suggestions in the past by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to defund the ABC and remove its egregious snout from the public trough, were the predisposing cause of his downfall.
Today KAP sought legal advice and if successful Trad will be top dog sooner rather than later.
The dangerous state of the Burke Development Road west of Chillagoe in Far North Queensland has prompted calls from local truck drivers to close the road until it can be repaired.
In the past week there have been two motor vehicle accidents, one a roll over resulting in serious injuries requiring the Cairns rescue chopper to evacuate the victims to hospital.
The Transport and Main Roads Department in Cairns and Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch were notified three days ago about the dangerous condition of a 40 klm section of the main arterial road to Kowanyama and Normanton yet no action has been taken.
Mareeba Shire Council says it has no funds to upgrade the road, however a maintenance crew was working on the Wrotham Park end of the road and heading west.
NO ACTION TAKEN BY TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS DEPT OR MEMBER FOR LEICHARDT, WARREN ENTSCH
Katters Australian Party Member for Leichardt Dan McCarthy said he had driven on the road several times in the past and it had always been in need of repair.
“This road is disgraceful and trucks are getting wrecked trying to drive over it. I know of a transport operator at Dimbulah who refuses to use it. I have been advised the side tracks through the bush are now getting cut up and it really is unsafe to use,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Like the gravel sections of the Peninsula Development Road, the TMR just refuses to fix it. I will be ensuring federal money is forthcoming to have a major upgrade so the Kowanyama people and locals can use it.”
Triple road trains carrying gravel to Kowanyama from a local quarry over the past month have destroyed the soft clay loam road surface.
Chillagoe transport operator Karyl Struber said the road should be closed until it is repaired, but the deep dust holes were beyond a grader and water truck. She said it would need major works before reopening.
“It is disgusting and not safe. It is not right and little money ever gets spent on it,” Ms Struber said.
“Tourist buses and people from Kowanyama use this road and if a bus load of kids had an accident there would be big trouble.” –contributed