21 December 2016: In what media reports are labelling an “early win” for the 23 graziers in the Charters Towers area who were potentially going to have their properties forcibly aquired, the Defence Department will look into alternative sites for the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Singapore Army training deal.
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, who resides in Charters Towers, has thanked the Senior Ministers he met with on the issue earlier in the month.
Mr Katter said, “We want to put on public record our appreciation to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
“Just a short while after I met with them and the day after tens of dozens of graziers and members of the greater Charters Towers community rallied with KAP Member for Dalrymple, Shane Knuth and I at the Dalrymple sale yards last week, the Defence Department has announced it will look at two alternatives for its $2.2 billion Singapore training site.
“If no other part of the Government is working, Minister Pyne’s and Minister Cormann’s areas are — and we appreciate them for that.”
The Defence Department has confirmed that is will conduct a feasibility study into the viability of using two alternative sites – Pentland and Greenvale.
Mr Katter said, “The battle isn’t over yet, we need to keep fighting until the ADF commit to an alternative site.
“But I have complete faith in the tenacity and the unity of the affected graziers and Charters Towers community – to not roll over, to not accept their fate and to keep fighting! And Shaney and I will be with you all the way!”