Category Archives: New State of North Queensland
A proposal to create new state of North Queensland has been around for decades but momentum is gathering among fed-up Far Northerners who attended the ‘Boot Brisbane’ forum on Wednesday night.
The first State of Origin match for the year did not deter more than 80 supporters from packing the Brother’s club boardroom in Cairns to hear a decisive argument for the north to break away from a decadent south east corner.
A southern border following the Tropic of Capricorn north of Rockhampton would ultimately foster great prosperity for a languishing North Queensland economy.
Katters Australian Party parliamentary representatives, Robbie Katter, Shane Knuth, Nick Dametto and newest recruit Senator Fraser Anning joined Member for Kennedy Bob Katter who held the floor with compelling economic data compiled by Cairns economist Bill Cummings.
Mr Katter said necessary infrastructure had been neglected by successive state and federal governments and there was no alternative but to allow North Queenslanders to govern themselves because much of the State’s economy was generated north of Rockhampton.
“The State Government has committed $7.5 billion – $2 billion for pleasure domes and $5.5 billion for yet another tunnel in Brisbane.
“There’s just no way that a budget of $54 billion can take a hit of $7.5 billion and have something left over for the rest of the state and the further away from Brisbane then the less money you will get. While they’ve got $5 billion to improve their transportation systems, four years ago we did not get a single cent for road improvement in North Queensland except for a roundabout at Port Douglas that was it.
“We got a roundabout at Port Douglas worth half a million dollars and Brisbane got $3 billion for tunnels and this is going to go on.”
Mr Katter accused the governments of failing to understand industry and economic development in the North.
“You are not allowed to use a drop of water for irrigation in North Queensland except if you make outrageous, corrupt payments to political parties – that’s the only way you’ll ever get a drop of water in North Queensland for irrigation and yet, if North Queensland were a separate country we would be the wettest country on earth.
“We’ve got these huge resources and we’re not allowed to use them so we can’t develop. “We’re not allowed to dredge the Port of Cairns; one of most significant tourist destinations in the world.
“Don’t expect any new dams from the State Government for the Tablelands anytime soon.”
Former Mulgrave Councillor Ron Crew explained how Cairns and the hinterland agricultural industry lost $35 million a year due to a lack of infrastructure projects
“The government won’t agree to dredge the port in a reasonable manner, yet we have the largest population adjacent to any port in northern Australia and agriculture can’t expand,” Mr Crew said.
From a legal point of view the creation of a new state was a simple exercise according to Townsville barrister Peter Raffles, one of the first law graduates from JCU in 1991.
Mr Raffles cited a High Court case in 1978 whether the approval of a majority of electors for surrendering a State and the acceptance by the Commonwealth is necessary and the ability of the Queensland Parliament to legislate for the excising of a new State.
“The State Parliament can do it and no referendum is required,” he said.
The SSM plebiscite could have been hacked with a predictably skewed result. In any case Cairns News has a long-standing policy of ignoring the gender neutral campaign started years ago by the feminist movement, contemporaneously referred to as the ‘femminazi’ collection of dykes.
Canberra is infested with thousands in this clique. They sit in the multitude of offices found in the Prime Minister’s Department many drafting bills such as the SSM legislation which was passed yesterday in the Lower House.
This newsletter will continue to use the grammatically correct terminology of Mr; Mrs; husband; wife; de-facto; girl; boy; married couple; fisherman; waiter; waitress, ad infinitum.
Time after time Australia has been the guinea pig for the cultural revolution orchestrated by the United Nations and the
Dark Government which is largely unknown to the average Australian. The SSM continues the tradition paving the way for the seemingly normal people remaining on the planet. Every day Mormon lifestyles seem more attractive.
The growing fascism emanating from state parliaments will be evident to all when the Queensland ALP begins its legislative attack on the business and farming sectors during this term of parliament.
The campaign to restore the Upper House should begin in earnest drawing its members from the existing number of state politicians without adding any more. – Gil Hanrahan
Green preferences are driving the Labor Government’s proposed draconian environmental policies as a trade-off for the Adani coal mine approval.
A source close to the ALP is warning Wild Rivers “on steroids” rebadged as ‘Pristine Rivers’ will be put back on the table along with revamped, tough vegetation management laws should the ALP win the upcoming election.
The source said revisiting Wild Rivers and vegetation management laws are on the agenda for the upcoming State ALP conference to be held in Townsville at the Convention Centre on July 28 and 29.
A World Heritage listing over the Laura sandstone escarpment country, mooted by the State Government, also looms large for the people of the Peninsula.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is moving to pacify the Greens’ hostility over approvals to allow Australia’s largest coal mine in Central Queensland to go ahead.
Trad and her colleague, Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Stephen Miles, have not yet taken into consideration the strident opposition of Cape York Peninsula communities, the Cape York Land Council and pastoralists alike, some of whom claim they will campaign against the party at the State election expected on November 4 this year.
Pastoralists and some communities believe a World Heritage nomination by the State Government will be the precursor for listing the entire Peninsula, in effect the beginning of the end for the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities sitting on vast tracts of grazing property.
In a recent radio interview, Chairman of the CYLC, Richie AhMat castigated the proposed new versions of Wild Rivers and vegetation laws as well as the existing environmental overlays on most Aboriginal freehold and Deed of Grant in Trust land(DOGIT) covering nearly one half of the land area of the Peninsula.
Referring to the Wild Rivers legislation, Mr AhMat asked how the government expected Aboriginal people to start up businesses and to be economically viable “when these land restrictions appear out of nowhere?”
“You can’t talk about economic development on one hand and you can’t talk about indigenous employment on the other, and you can’t talk about Northern Australia on both hands.”
In reply to a question about the as yet undisclosed ‘Pristine Rivers’ policy Mr AhMat alluded to funding that had been allocated in the past two state budgets purportedly for consultation with traditional owners.
He said he was worried about all the rivers in Cape York which could be affected by a lock up policy.
“All of our rivers in Cape York are fresh water rivers, water is a huge commodity now and nobody in their wildest dreams 10 years or fifteen years ago expected them to buy a bottle of fresh water,” Mr Ah Mat said.
“To buy a bottle of fresh water is more than a litre of fuel.
“Why does the government want to lock up Cape York, because they have a 20 to 30 year plan but they aren’t talking to anybody, it’s all secretive because we are out of sight and out of mind.
“We fought long and hard against the wild rivers, long and hard and we were untied as one on Cape York.
“This Pristine Rivers believe me there are rumblings about it in 1 William Street (Executive Building) now.
“This legislation over land is going to block everything.”
Gordon Rasmussen, Katters Australian Party candidate for the Cook electorate, which takes in all of Cape York, agreed with Mr Ah Mat.
“It looks like Northern Development is just a talk fest because what Mr Ah Mat says about locking up all the rivers and land on Cape York makes a mockery of the $5 billion federal fund for northern land development,” Mr Rasmussen pointed out.
“How does the federal government expect to achieve anything in an area like the Peninsula to help economic development for struggling communities when the State Government has divided up most of the Aboriginal land into nature reserves, national parks and heritage areas?
“If the Labor Party gets back into government we are all in for a very rough trot.”
Bring on a State plebiscite to create the new State of North Queensland
KAP’s Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth have called the LNP a disgrace after they confirmed they will sell out North Queensland and pass the budget as is, without any negotiation.
Robbie and Shane asked the government for four basic things to address the current crisis in North Queensland. Robbie and Shane and the rest of the crossbench said they would vote against the budget if the government refused to come to the negotiating table.
“North Queensland is in crisis. The government should be ashamed of itself for not agreeing to these four very reasonable requests,” Robbie said. “Even more shameful is that the LNP had an opportunity to stand with us to force the government to listen, but instead they’ve decided to sell out North Queensland and rubber stamp the budget.”
Robbie and Shane requested four urgent actions to support North Queensland, which faces unemployment rates as high as 14%, compared with unemployment of about 4% in Brisbane:
1. Power prices reduced by 5%
2. Commit to reducing North Queensland unemployment to 6% by 2020
3. Commit unspent infrastructure funding to North Queensland to kick start the economy
4. Set up a North Queensland Budget Equity Board
Shane Knuth said he was disgusted, but not surprised, with the government and LNP. “I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not,” Shane said. “I was excited because we had a real chance to make some change for North Queensland, but we needed support from either the government or LNP to make it happen, and neither of them would step up to the plate. They should hang their heads in shame,” Shane said.
Robbie said he was shocked the major parties wouldn’t consider KAP’s requests. “They’re quite happy to throw billions of dollars at a Brisbane rail project so city people can get home from work earlier, but won’t commit to something as critical as reducing unemployment in the North.
At least we in North Queensland know exactly where we stand with the government and LNP: and that’s on the wrong side of the Brisbane border,” Robbie said.
Robbie and Shane will vote against the budget unless the government accepts their basic requests – which could make an immediate difference to North Queensland.
State budget a lotto win for Brisbane
Robbie Katter says news that the government will spend $2billion on Cross River Rail confirms what people in the North have long been saying: the major parties govern for Brisbane. “It’s never been more important to fight for North Queensland,” Robbie said.
KAP is urging the LNP to join them in standing up for North Queensland. KAP’s Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth have asked the government for four urgent actions to address the crisis in North Queensland:
- Power prices reduced by 5%
- Commit to reducing North Queensland unemployment to 6% by 2020
- Commit unspent infrastructure funding to North Queensland to kick start the economy
- Set up a North Queensland Budget Equity Board
KAP State Leader Robbie Katter said he, Shane, and the rest of the crossbench, would vote against the state budget if the government would not deliver these initiatives for North Queensland.
“If the LNP stands with us, we can make this happen, we can create real change for North Queensland,” Robbie said.
The state treasurer said in his budget speech today “Queenslanders will not forget” if the Federal Treasurer doesn’t commit money to Cross River Rail.
“North Queenslanders will not forget that this government thought $2billion was better spent on a project so city people could get home from work a bit earlier, rather than on infrastructure projects to invest in North Queensland’s future,” Robbie said. “That same $2billion could have seen the rail line out of the Galilee Basin already built, which would produce income for Queensland for decades to come.”
Robbie said comments by the Treasurer in his budget speech that “confidence has made a comeback”, showed how out of touch the government was with life outside of Brisbane.
“In my home town of Mount Isa, confidence is so low in the wake of talk by Glencore of pulling out of its copper operations, people are losing sleep. This is affecting people’s lives, and all we hear from the treasurer is that survey results are good. Well that’s not what’s happening out here in the real world,” Robbie said.
“In other parts of the North, unemployment is as high as 14%. If business confidence was as high as the treasurer claims, we wouldn’t be seeing rates like this.”
Shane Knuth said it made him sick that more wasn’t being done to address unemployment in the North. “Unemployment in Brisbane is around 4%. If unemployment rates were as high in the big city as they are up North, the government would drop everything to fix the problem. Instead we see them drop $2bn on a project in an electorate with 4% unemployment.
What a joke. If they care about North Queensland and making a change, they will agree to our request to reducing unemployment in the North to 6% by 2020. And I expect the LNP to show some backbone and stand with us to make this happen,” Shane said.
In response to a public outcry, Katters Australia Party is drafting legislation to remove or cull crocodiles in northern waterways after a spate of savage attacks on tourists and residents.
The recent death of a spearfisherman and the mauling of a man at Innisfail by crocodiles prompted a series of public meetings called by the Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth to gauge public support for crocodile removal, culling, egg collection and safari hunting.
Meetings were held last week at Mareeba, Innisfail and Port Douglas.
At the Mareeba meeting Mr Knuth said the attacks had been given international media coverage and tourists were now cancelling visits to the Far North because they were frightened of being attacked by a salt water crocodile.
Former deputy Mayor of Mareeba Shire, Evan McGrath spoke of crocodiles close to the town and how farmers had been menaced by them when checking their water pumps in creeks and channels.
He said crocodiles had been seen in irrigation channels and the Barron River near his farm. “Their numbers are out of control in areas where crocodiles have never been seen before.”
“Enough is enough,” Mr Knuth told a supportive audience of more than 100 residents.
“We have to bring the numbers back under control. Over the past 40 years since croc shooting finished the numbers have exploded and crocs no longer fear man and they have become cheeky and not afraid to attack people or domestic animals.”
A three metre long photo backdrop of a crocodile with a kelpie in its mouth reminded the audience of the audacity and savagery of a crocodile eating a pet dog near Innisfail two weeks ago, greatly upsetting the dog’s young owner.
Supporting the KAP legislation was the Chairman of Cape York Peninsula Land Council Richie Ahmat who suggested a truck load of large crocs should be taken from a local crocodile farm and dropped into the Brisbane River.
“Then we would see some action,” Mr Ahmat quipped.
Former Gulf area cattle station manager Jack Fraser told the meeting the excessive number of crocs in the vast Lower Gulf district were out of hand and should be culled as a matter of urgency.
He said several years ago a large crocodile on a cattle station was found dead on a riverbank. It was cut open to reveal 60 plastic cattle ear tags in its stomach.
“Sixty ear tags represents a loss to the station of about $60,000 worth of stock on today’s market,” Mr Fraser said.
Member for Kennedy Bob Katter received thunderous applause when he stated the obvious: “The Brisbane Government does not care a less about North Queenslanders and it is time we looked after our own problems.
“Home rule is across the world and like Brexit, North Queensland must now take a stance,” referring to a new State of North Queensland.
Member for Mt Isa Robbie Katter said he would present a bill to State Parliament in the May sittings to address runaway crocodile numbers that were of grave danger to the public.
He alluded to making unchecked crocodile attacks a precursor to blocking the May budget should the Labor Government not support his bill.
Meanwhile the Independent Member for Cook, Billy Gordon, did not attend either the Mareeba or Port Douglas meetings held in his electorate.
On his Facebook page after the meetings Mr Gordon claimed he would not be supporting the crocodile removal legislation because he had not been invited to either the Mareeba or Port Douglas meetings.
“The needs of my electorate are quite substantive, the areas of health, education, telecommunications….and tourism are of primary concern to me,” the post said.
“It’s on these issues that hard- nosed negotiations should be had on.
“As a matter of public record I have not been invited to or included in meetings in both Mareeba and Port Douglas to advocate for culling of crocs.”
A KAP spokesman said today Mr Gordon’s office was contacted early on Tuesday morning by staff inviting him to the meeting.
“On Wednesday morning his office put in an apology telling us they were unsure if Mr Gordon would attend,” the spokesman said.
“A meeting flyer was emailed to his office. KAP contacted his staff who said they were unable to send a representative to the meeting.
“KAP staff also left a message on his phone,” the spokesman said.
Mr Gordon is believed to be in Melbourne and was unable to be contacted for comment.
At the Mareeba forum, local Labor Party stalwart Duncan McInnes said most Aboriginal communities and Traditional Owners he had spoken to supported the proposed legislation.
Welcome news from the Liberal and Labor church of free trade – Adam Smith would be proud of Mr Turnbull, Mr Shorten and their Uruguay DOFAT mandarins
Today the Queensland Government has confirmed White Spot virus has been found in wild prawns in Moreton Bay off Brisbane and now cannot be stopped.
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter said, “I congratulate the Government of the Australia with their Free Trade policies and no quarantine.
“Our prawn industry has been sacrificed on the altar of Free Trade.
“Not only all our industries have been exported overseas, and our jobs exported overseas but you’ve imported workers from overseas, which has been a cancer upon our pay and conditions and job opportunities in Australia — but now you’ve succeeded in destroying our oceans.
“Because the currents flow north, White Spot will now be taken up the Qld coast and infect the Great Barrier Reef.
“This was done with eyes wide open.
“Every single person associated with the prawn industry and every scientist who ever looked at this knew if you brought the prawns in, you’d bring the White Spot in… and the IHHNV and heaven only knows which hundreds of other diseases we haven’t identified…and these damn people in Canberra run around talking about our clean green image,” said Mr Katter.
The Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) President Matt West owns a prawn farm in the Mackay region. In a media report from January this year, Mr West says although his stock are some distance from the Sth East Qld region damaged by the outbreak, the disease can spread rapidly, “especially if it gets hold in the wild”.
NB: Cairns News published an exclusive story on January 10, 2107 about Chinese prawn importer Sino deliberately altering prawn samples for biosecurity testing. The company has been charged by Federal Police for falsifying records allowing white spot infected prawns to be introduced into Queensland. Imported green prawns infected with white spot virus used by anglers for fish bait are thought to have infected seven Gold Coast prawn farms and now Moreton Bay near Brisbane.
Nearly 70 per cent of Cape York covered by nature reserves or national parks; little left for Aboriginal economic benefit
Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula are being duped and dudded by the State Government over large land ‘hand overs’ that the local communities believe will prevent them from earning income.
On April 7, another 54,000 hectares north of Cooktown was handed over to several tribal groups from Hopevale, adding even more locked-up land to the vast national park estate on Cape York.
Since the CYPLUS (Cape York Peninsula Land Use Study) research of the 80’s and early 90’s once productive grazing land has steadily been resumed by State Governments, mainly the ALP, to be gazetted as national park or some type of nature reserve.
Nature reserves, national parks, regional parks, timber reserves and DOGIT land shaded areas cover at least 70 per cent of the Peninsula leaving small areas for grazing or commercial purposes that are not of any economic benefit to Aboriginal groups
Various Aboriginal corporations gratefully sign up to vast areas of former cattle stations, such as the Olkola people when last year they were handed five, once viable large cattle properties in central Cape York Peninsula totalling 1.5 million acres that used to run 30,000 cattle.
The Prescribed Body Corporate gleefully accepted the gift from the State Government, but seemingly did not properly read the paperwork. The PBC just helped the National Parks and Wildlife Service add another one million acres to their vast estate, on which no cattle grazing is allowed.
The remaining portion of Aboriginal Freehold can be used for grazing or selective timber cutting, but under the ALP environmental laws would have to be excluded from the nature reserves and park area by fencing it off.
The fencing would cost several million dollars and require maintenance on a weekly basis to be effective.
Indigenous leader Noel Pearson angrily said, “…again Aborigines have been duped by the Labor/Green bureaucracy.”
Noel Pearson sick and tired of being ‘dudded’ by the Labor/Green bureaucracy
Pearson heaped vitriol on the Labor and former LNP governments at a large meeting of stakeholders in Mareeba recently for dudding the communities of Cape York over land use.
“We have no property rights on Cape York and we need upgraded tenure. There are lots of fronts where all landowners are vulnerable,” he said.
Public servants who once worked for environmental lobby groups were targeted by Pearson for pushing extreme green agendas within government.
“These greens have infiltrated indigenous groups and government departments and it’s like a tag team, they are all the same, and have networked with all departments,” Mr Pearson said.
“Public servants should declare their association with environmental groups.
“The proposition there is going to be land clearing the size of Victoria, is fantasy.
“There are only pockets of land suitable for development.
“White people too have had many generations on this land and they have a great love for their land. It’s high time the law in Queensland started to respect that relationship.
“We spent five hard years and lots of money fighting Wild Rivers in court but we could have been doing other more productive things.
“We need another 10 independents in parliament to put us in a better position, given the absence of an Upper House.”
Alan Jones to chair Nickel workers meeting Monday, April 11
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.