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New State of North Queensland is looming

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.

New state promoters Ron Crew;Bob Katter; Barrister Peter Raffles; Shane Knuth; Nick Dametto

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.

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Committee formed to initiate new state of North Queensland

Working Group for the Establishment of North Queensland

Northern MPs, academics, economists and community leaders have joined forces to push forward the case for North Queensland as an independent state.

The newly formed Working Group for the Establishment of North Queensland believes it is time for a concerted push for the independence of a Northern State to secure future development.

KAP leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter believes the working group will assist in establishing the case as a strong representative body to lay the ground work for a referendum.

Mr Katter said he is sick of the hearing that a northern state isn’t economically viable.

“The arguments put up by the State Government that we can’t afford it are an offence. Just the opposite is true. We can’t afford not to,” he said.

“We have not baseload power, no dams, no real development and this is in contrast to the massive cannibalism economic spending in Brisbane, not even in the south east corner! Just Brisbane. In fact I think a lot of people on the Gold Coast and

Sunshine Coast and the South West, would like to come with us. There are few more centralised governments in the world.

Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter said the group will also assist in the push for strategic long term policy and development, something the north has lacked for a long time.

“This committee will work to make this proposition become a reality, this is more than just a thought bubble, it’s the beginning of a real future for North Queensland,”

“The reason for being independent is a simple one. It is fundamentally better for all of us if decisions about North Queensland’s future are made by the people who care most about North Queensland – that is the people of North Queensland.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen who has for a long time advocated for a referendum on this issue had written to all MPs, senators and mayors who represent areas above the Tropic of Capricorn to invite them to be part of a such a move.

“The committee is for action not more talk. The people of the north deserve a fair hearing on this, this working group is well placed to push for a referendum on the formation of a new state of North Queensland,” he said.

The working group hopes to meet on a monthly basis and involve other community leaders to contribute to the campaign.

Confirmed NQ Working Group as follows:

George Christensen MP Federal Member for Dawson (LNP)
Rob Pyne MP State Member for Cairns (Independent)
Jeff Cox Cane farmer and grazier
Colin Dwyer Leading economist
David Moyle Founder of Townsville Ratepayers Association
Peter Raffles Barrister and academic
Henry Fracchia Civil Engineer Executive Director of Infrastructure Design at UDP Group
Bob Katter MP Federal Member for Kennedy (KAP)
Robbie Katter MP State Member for Mt Isa (KAP)
Shane Knuth MP State Member for Dalrymple (KAP)
Vicky Kippin O’Connor Grower and grazier, former

State politician

Katter calls for new state of North Queensland

There are renewed calls for a dramatic shake-up of Australia’s three-tiered system of government, with one state MP saying the country is facing a reckoning.

Katter’s Australian Party MP for Mount Isa, Robbie Katter, is one of several parliamentarians pushing for a referendum on the issue of north Queensland breaking away from the rest of the state.

Mr Katter said the split was needed to address what he described as a “sinkhole” of funding to “keep building aquariums in Brisbane and office buildings and to buy votes”.

“Queensland’s always been agriculture, mining and tourism, you need those things … and a lot of those things exist outside the metropolitan area,” he told Lateline.

Mr Katter and many others have told Lateline the problem is nationwide and urgently needs to be addressed.

“This problem transcends just a discussion about a separate state for north Queensland. The problem is the misallocation of resources,” Mr Katter said.

“There’ll be a reckoning at some point and we’re starting to experience that reckoning, I’d say across Australia.

“We are not putting the money where it needs to be and we desperately need resources, our taxes, going to industry-enabling infrastructure, not vote-winning exercises.”

Home rule of North Queensland is economically viable

bob-katter-video-2

Bob Katter

 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.

New state of North Queensland desperately needed for indigenous people

filed by Robert J Lee at Coen

Editorial

Hollow promises of more funding, freehold land ownership, more land grants and removal of alcohol management plans are just some of the palm-greasing tactics for indigenous groups which are being touted by the Liberal Member for Cook David Kempton in the hope of holding his seat at the November State election.

The Kowanyama township was one indigenous group mesmerised into voting for him at the 2012 election.

Labor polling booth supporters at Kowanyama complained to Electoral Commission officials on election day about Kempton’s henchmen trying to bribe voters by telling them alcohol management plans would be removed should they support the Liberal Party.

A scuffle broke out between different supporters and the Liberal emissary was ordered away from the booth.

Liberal Member for Cook, David Kempton

Surprisingly the Liberal vote was the highest ever at Kowanyama but two years later local community social club members are still waiting for the AMP’s to be lifted.

A front page story in the Weekend Australian in September accused Mr Kempton, a solicitor, of these less than savoury electoral activities.

This time around Mr Kempton’s tactics have not altered but increased in desperation as more and more people wake up that the anti- small business and economic rationalist policies of the Liberals are sinking them further into the mire of failed businesses, unemployment and asset sales.

Such as the Peninsula where a handful of Cairns-based, unelected, high profile indigenous identities get rewarded with many millions of dollars by the Liberals (and Labor) for such esoteric purposes as training, health initiatives and land preservation, among a long list of other obscure, mostly meaningless projects.

While the rank and file community members of the Peninsula languish in often third world conditions, the politically aligned and correct few, cop all the benefits and bouquets.

The people of Cape York Peninsula, indeed the indigenous people of Far North Queensland will never prosper under the policies of either Labor or the Liberals.

A new state of North Queensland starting at the Tropic of Capricorn, is desperately needed to reclaim the vast amount of income generated by the region which the Liberals have hijacked into Brisbane.

The condition of the Far North road network, water storages, infrastructures, extraordinarily high power and water charges, rates, rent , a $400 annual mining lease tax, emergency services taxation and other increased government charges have emphasised the government funding scam and the Royalties for Regions ruse, with very little money being returned to where it was generated.

Only when a new state is created with its own local inhabitants elected for self-government will indigenous people be able to chart their own destiny.

Supporting either the Liberals or Labor at the election will ensure a new state is never created.

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