The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, has ended speculation she plans to relocate her Mareeba electorate office to Cairns.
In a media release Ms Lui confirmed she will shift the office to Cairns but had not taken the decision lightly.
“This year, I have been out talking and listening to the people of Cook and one issue that was raised time and time again was having an office space that is readily accessible to everyone,” Ms Lui said.
“I acknowledge the view that Cairns is not in the Cook electorate, it is however, the most central location for the large number of constituents who live in the Cook electorate.
“Historically the Cook electorate office has been in Cairns. The move to Mareeba was a decision made during the Campbell Newman Government.
“I will still continue to work hard for the people of Mareeba by visiting regularly and holding mobile offices.”
Speculation has been mounting for several weeks among Mareeba Labor Party members that Ms Lui had asked the Speaker of Parliament, Curtis Pitt to relocate the Post Office Arcade office to Cairns.
A spokesman for the Speaker said it was up to each Member to decide the location of their electorate office and “it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”
Mareeba ALP member Anne-Marie Keating said she was “very disappointed” that Ms Lui had decided to “disenfranchise Mareeba residents, leaving them no representation.
“Pensioners and indigenous people won’t be able to get help with government agencies because the office is in Cairns and trying to sort out issues over the phone will be impossible,” Ms Keating said.
“Just because Ms Lui and her staff live in Cairns is not an excuse to move the office. She promised not to shift the office at the pre-selection meeting and this was one of the conditions on which she was nominated as a candidate.”
Ms Lui also has an office on Thursday Island.
Cairns is the car stealing capital – 767 stolen in 2017 and 38 cars stolen in March 2018
Nearly 100 Cairns region residents fed up with spiralling juvenile crime, unanimously passed a resolution at a meeting in Woree on Saturday instructing the State Government to immediately implement the renowned Petford Farm Rehabilitation Program.
Founder of the program, Geoff Guest OAM, 91, explained to the audience how over 35 years he had successfully transformed more than 3000 troubled youths and adults into a stable lifestyle by offering a holistic solution to substance and alcohol abuse.
He said the transition to normality could not be achieved without incorporating the families of offenders, teaching them proper nutrition and that diet was as important as a loving family environment to break the cycle of anti-social behaviour and re-offending.
“At Petford over the years we taught the kids self-respect and how to respect others and by teaching them horsemanship, fencing, cattle work and tidying up after themselves then cooking at night,” Mr Guest said.
“My late wife Norma made sure there was always a good meal after a day’s work and there was no need to rely on sugar hits from soft drinks or alcohol to keep going.”
Supporting Mr Guest were Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch and State Member for Hill Shane Knuth.
The former Member for Mulgrave Naomi Wilson was present and also backed Mr Guest’s strategy.
Attila Feher-Holan, the founder of the neighbourhood watch group Cairns Knights, chaired the meeting and was scathing of the four local Labor Party state politicians who did not show up.
“The disrespect shown to constituents by the Labor members has not gone unnoticed and I ask if they have any intention at all of stopping the terrible crime wave local people are experiencing,” Mr Feher-Holan said.
“I personally asked Cynthia Lui, Michael Healy, Craig Crawford and Curtis Pitt if they would attend a meeting to help fix this awful problem but only Michael Healy accepted then pulled out after the government discovered he was coming.”
Long-time Petford supporter Professor Ernest Hunter, formerly Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service and Adjunct Professor at James Cook University, explained how the Petford Program had been so successful.
“One can’t work without the other and Geoff Guest incorporated a strict health and diet regime with a remote location and did not rely on any pharmaceutical drugs or more conventional methods of rehabilitation,” Professor Hunter said.
Member for Kennedy Bob Katter told the meeting how he had sought advice from different Aboriginal groups when formulating his Relocation Sentencing policy which allows Magistrates to sentence young offenders to a remote rehabilitation facility instead of going to jail.
“What happens is amateur criminals go to detention or jail and come out as professionals,” Mr Katter said.
“Jail for young offenders is not the answer.”
Mr Guest said he had been asked by Innisfail and Townsville residents to stage further meetings because of the high crime rates in their communities.-contributed
Harsh vegetation management laws to be enacted by the State Government have united political identities across the spectrum. Protesters marched on the Gordonvale electorate office of State Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Saturday. Speakers at the rowdy rally of 80 farmers, politicians, indigenous representatives and political aspirants, warned the proposed laws would “shut down” agriculture and make criminals out of farmers if they clear regrowth or vegetation on their farms
Atherton solicitor Anne English on the doorstep of Curtis Pitt’s office told the rally the new laws turned farmers into criminals by reversing the onus of proof and removing the centuries-old ‘mistaken belief’ principle as a defence if trees are cleared.
Indigenous protesters Duncan McInnes, Mareeba and Chairman of the Cape York Alliance Rod Burke
Protesters march on Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Gordonvale office
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.