ANZ closes another branch vital to rural customers
People in Hughenden will be forced to drive 250km to access full ANZ banking services, with the big bank announcing it will close its Hughenden branch.
Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said it is just another example of big corporations focusing on profits rather than customers, services and communities.
“I think that big corporates like ANZ have a social responsibility to provide services to towns like Hughenden, even if that particular branch doesn’t generate a lot of money,” Robbie said.
“We are talking about a company that reported a first half year cash profit of $3.4 billion just a couple of months ago. They cannot argue that keeping the Hughenden branch open will cripple their business. But losing services like this in regional Queensland cripples communities.”
In a statement about the branch closure, ANZ told its customers they could travel to Charters Towers for their banking needs.“What a joke,” Robbie said. “The city people making these decisions complain if they have to spend an extra 10 minutes in peak hour traffic. Now they want people to drive 250km to go to the bank. ANZ obviously doesn’t care about its customers outside of the city.”
“It’s not just services that the community is losing, this is two jobs that will be lost. Every job counts. Unemployment is already sky high in rural and regional Queensland. Youth unemployment in outback Queensland is currently at 56.2 per cent. Plus these job losses come on the back of Aurizon railway sacking workers which hit Hughenden hard.”
“We have big plans for this region, with the abattoir proposal, irrigation proposals and renewable energy developments. It’s alright for these banks to take big profits in the good times. As soon as the dollar signs disappear they take their bat and ball and go home.”
“We hope that people in Western areas remember what ANZ is doing here. This could mean a lot more to ANZ than just losing business in Hughenden. This is stain on their treatment of people in Western Queensland.”
Robbie said smaller banks had a better track record of supporting smaller communities.
“Suncorp stuck by Julia Creek and went in there when a bank pulled out. It’s sickening that huge corporates like ANZ with mega profits just walk away from rural and regional Australia and hang them out to dry.”
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said: “Let the people of the North Qld mid-west know that the Labor Government deregulated the wool industry, and we lost around 700 jobs. Under the Liberal’s National Competition Policy and the acquiescence of the Labor State Government the railways. The Liberal Government privatised Telstra and sold off the State bank taking away 200 jobs. Under the corporatisation and deregulation of Ergon by Labor we lost nearly 600 jobs. Let’s face it the Liberals would have done all of those things faster,” Bob Katter said.
“With the ANZ Bank Hughenden Bank closure, the reality is we have got no one there to serve us. I think the KAP policy to take 1.7% of the water by law, will almost certainly see HIDCO become a reality. The Hann Highway should be completed under the present program by 1-2 years. We are working intensely on the Big Kennedy wind farm and with HIDCO’s irrigation there will be a quartering works and maybe a meatworks in Hughenden.”
“These things are not happening, they are being MADE to happen by a very tough local leadership, who are setting an example for all of inland Australia.”
ROBBIE KATTER NAMED PISTOL SHOOTING QUEENSLAND PATRON
Robbie said he was honoured to accept Pistol Shooting Queensland’s invitation to be its patron.
“Pistol Shooting Queensland is a great organisation which promotes the sport of target pistol shooting in a responsible way,” Robbie said.
Pistol Shooting Queensland is the sport’s state peak body, providing leadership to more than 40 clubs. Membership with Pistol Shooting Queensland provides all members with affiliation to the national body for the sport, Pistol Australia. It is also the only pistol shooting body in Queensland which provides members with the eligibility and pathway to be selected for Commonwealth and Olympic Games, including those athletes with a disability.
“Target pistol shooting is a challenging sport,” Robbie said. “There are men and women of all ages who enjoy it, as well as a strong cohort of juniors coming through. The people who participate through Pistol Shooting Queensland’s clubs love their sport, and are serious about safety. Despite what some people might think, it’s definitely not a bunch of red necks shooting in their back yard. It’s a serious sport, and the clubs take safety really seriously,” Robbie said.
Robbie went to Pistol Shooting Queensland’s home at Belmont Shooting Complex in Brisbane, which will be host next year’s Commonwealth Games shooting competition.
“The facilities being built out there for the Commonwealth Games are incredible, and they will be available for Pistol Shooting Queensland to use after the games are over, so there’s never been a better time to get involved in the sport,” Robbie said.
Pistol Shooting Queensland President Michele Sandstrom said the decision to offer Robbie the role was an easy one.
“Robbie has been a long-time supporter, and understands what Pistol Shooting Queensland is about. When Robbie was nominated at our last Annual General Meeting, he was unanimously endorsed by all. We know he understands the importance of safety in our sport, and will help us to promote it. We are very excited to have Robbie on board.”
For more information on pistol shooting, visit – www.pistolshootingqld.org.au
Croc cull public meeting
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KAP slams Govt croc management review in wake of latest attack, calls for real action
The KAP has condemned reports this afternoon that the State Government will review new crocodile management plans following an attack on a snorkeller on Lizard Island yesterday.
The man was treated for minor cuts and abrasions to his head after the reptile, estimated to be up to two metres long, attacked him near Watson Creek Inlet.
ABC reported Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the incident was concerning and that maybe stricter measures were needed, although she’s ruled out culling.
KAP State Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said a review was the last thing Queenslanders needed.
“The time for talk is well and truly over; we need real action in the form of a controlled cull now to put a stop to the attacks, which seem to be multiplying by the day,” he said.
“We do not need a review – we know what the problem is and we demand action.”
State Member for Mt Isa Robbie Katter said the latest attack was the final straw.
“Human safety is paramount and the Government has now run out of chances to evade action; we need to activate a controlled cull as soon as possible,” he said.
The latest development comes just hours after reports of a beheaded crocodile near Innisfail, revealing locals may be taking steps to control crocodiles themselves because the Government is failing to act.
“People are saying this was bound to happen and it will continue if the Government doesn’t do something,” Mr Knuth said.
Following a well-supported consultation tour around north Queensland, the KAP will table legislation next month to allow for a controlled cull in populated areas across Queensland.
Under the legislation, Mr Knuth said crocodiles could be culled or relocated to a crocodile farm, and safari hunting and egg collection initiatives could be set up to create jobs for Indigenous rangers.
Shooters to demand a register of toxic vaccines
Doctors kill 25,000 patients each year: guns kill 211
The Australian Medical Association, better known as the ‘medical mafia’ has stumbled into the firearms ownership minefield making erroneous and ignorant statements about a “real time national firearms register” that somehow would magically remove firearms from groups such as the Muslim bikies.
Opening his mouth before engaging his brain, AMA vice president Dr Tony Bartone told ABC news that a national register would be able to track guns from when they were imported or manufactured to when they were either crushed or exported.
The AMA wants to infect your children and yourselves with toxic vaccines on one hand, and on the other impose a national level of even more restrictive regulations curtailing your Bill of Rights guarantee to own a firearm.
Shooters should demand a register of dirty, toxic vaccines that have without any doubt as the empirical evidence shows, caused autism in 2 per cent of all vaccinated American children and killed many more across the world.
The Australian statistics are just as bad and have been published over the past few years in Cairns News.
Cairns News has championed the burgeoning anti-vax movement for years as more and more evidence comes across our desks revealing the long term damage caused by most vaccines.
We advise shooters with registered and unregistered firearms to tell the well-heeled medical mafia to go to hell.
Few people have an understanding that their trusted AMA members are ripping off patients and Medicare to the tune of $3 billion a year for practicing voodoo medicine and infecting thousands of babies and young children each year with toxic vaccines and drugs.
One disillusioned doctor told Cairns News the first thing medical students learn at medical school is how to suck up to big pharma and rip-off patients by rorting Medicare with bulk billing and exorbitant charges for mostly unnecessary surgeries and prescribing deadly narcotics when there are non-lethal and non-addictive natural remedies readily available.
Big pharma controls the medical mafia, so one can only speculate why this stupid doctor would be their mouthpiece on such a touchy subject.
The number of Australian gun deaths has been declining since 1986 when 677 were recorded to 211 in 2015 (GunPolicy.org). This is in contrast to the thousands of patients doctors kill each year.
After all doctors kill more than 25,000 patients each year in Australia according to the medical industry expose, ‘Dead Doctors Don’t Lie’, the handbook about the medical mafia and available at most health shops.
Katter: A Royal Commission into banks should have begun a year ago
Katter called for a Royal Commission into banks a year ago, and ‘..the banks’ behaviour has become worse since then’
9 April 2016 KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy has responded to the ALP’s call yesterday for a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking and finance sector, saying this should have happened a year ago when he called for a Royal Commission on 15 May 2016: http://www.bobkatter.com.au/module/latestNews/view/535/katter-calls-for-royal-commission-into-bank-lending-practices/media-releases
Mr Katter has a proven track record in fighting the unethical banking practices on behalf of his constituents, in particular related to the rural debt crisis gripping regional Australia, following the issue being brought to his attention a rally in North-West Qld in late 2011.
For the past five years a number of cases have been raised with Mr Katter, with the most renowned being Winton grazier Charlie Phillott, 81, who was kicked off his property by ANZ Bank, but fought back and won.
Mr Katter supported him in his fight as he has many others who’ve found themselves in the same positon and reached out for help from Mr Katter’s office.
Having been inundated with stories like Charlie’s, on 15 May last year Mr Katter called for a Royal Commission into Australia’s banking and finance sector and his views haven’t changed:
“We absolutely should have a Royal Commission into the finance sector. The time has come not for a Parliamentary Inquiry, but for a public inquiry.”
“In the United States, ‘non-recourse’ lending exists. When you can’t make your repayments and the banks sell up the house, the banks can only get what the house is sold for. The banks take the loss of any shortfall.”
“In Australia, the customer takes the shortfall.”
Mr Katter is sick of the LNP’s Government’s inaction on this issue:
“And the Government is running around congratulating itself that their banking institutions are solid, yeah they are solid because in Australia because whenever the banks stuff up, the poor bloody mortgagee gets flogged. In the United States, the banks share the flogging. As they should.”
It is understood Mr Katter’s call for a Royal Commission was the first in Australia, two months prior to the Greens motion on the issue and almost a year prior to the ALP’s promises.
Robbie Katter, Chairman of the Rural Debt and Drought Committee; Facebook legend Charlie Phillott, Winton, beat the ANZ; Bob Katter; Shane Knuth, Member for Dalrymple
· The Rural Financial Roundtable followed 12 months of pressure from Mr Katter on the Federal Government and Australian financial leaders, precipitated by a rally in North-West Qld in late 2011.
· In August 2012, the then Treasurer agreed to the Roundtable following a Question without Notice in Parliament from Mr Katter.
· In October 2012 the Rural Financial Roundtable met with Acting Prime Minister/Treasurer; Agriculture Minister and key stakeholders such as farmers from across Australia, food security and economic academic experts, realtors, financial institutions, financial counsellors etc.
· In June 2013, Mr Katter introduced laws to establish within the Reserve Bank a rural reconstruction and development board to take over bad debt will ensure the sustainability of Australian agriculture and provide a lifeline to primary producers in the grip of the deepening rural debt crisis. The legislation is the result of the Rural Finance Roundtable and North West Cattlemen’s Crisis Summit.
· In June 2013 a delegation from the Rural Finance Roundtable working group met with both sides of government to present the legislation.
· Senator Madigan and Xenophon introduced legislation into the senate which mirrored Mr Katter’s original bill. The Senate Committee, with a majority ALP and LNP members refused to recommend a Reconstruction Board. Senator Madigan and Xenophon were committed to a Reconstruction Board approach.
· December 2014 – Winton ‘Last Stand’ Crisis Summit into rural debt called by Rob Katter, State Member for Mount Isa and Chaired by media commentator Alan Jones– Charlie Phillott senior becomes the face of the rural debt crisis, having been removed from his property ‘Carisbrooke’ by ANZ Bank.
· 14 May 2015 Mr Katter calls for a Royal Commission into bank’s conduct.
· September 2015 – Charters Towers Rural Debt meeting called in response to farmers cry for action.
· September 2015 – Winton grazier Charlie Phillot given back his farm and ANZ Bank CEO Mike Smith apologies for its actions to Mr Phillott to Michael Usher on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes.
Recent History – QLD
· KAP identified the Reconstruction Board as a key priority to both the ALP and LNP in the QLD 2015 Hung Parliament Negotiations.
· The Reconstruction Board is now being proposed to be introduced in Queensland and within the already existing Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA).
· Robbie Katter, KAP State Member for Mount Isa, was appointed Chairman of the Queensland Government’s Rural Debt and Drought taskforce. A series of public hearings were conducted across Queensland and the final report will be released in the near future.
Lock out laws rile some Cairns night clubs, but majority agrees says Knuth
Changes to State Government liquor ‘lock out’ laws have divided the community in Far North Queensland, with letters to newspapers and radio talk back callers equally opposed and agreeing to the changes.
Taxi operators, nightclub owners and young patrons have criticised the Labor Party’s legislation that will see a reduction in drinking time, with last drinks at 1am instead of 3am.
Some venues can apply for last drinks at 2am with an additional 30 minutes grace before lock out.
The new regulations come into force on February 1, 2017, allowing a 12 month phase-in provision insisted on by Katters Australian Party MP’s Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter.
Those with a criminal history of violence or drug dealers will not be allowed entry to venues.
The regulations are to be reviewed in July 2018.
Emergency services personnel have shown total support for the new laws, praising the KAP for its insight into the burgeoning alcohol culture of young people.
The Australian Medical Association welcomed the changes, believing the shorter hours will go a long way towards halting ‘coward punches’ and drug-fuelled violence.
“The police asked us to include the banning of known drug dealers and users within night club precincts and the management of this is up to the night clubs,” Mr Knuth said.
“We indicated from the beginning we would not support the regulations in their original form.
“In Sydney, with its similar laws, clubs introduced food towards closing time, helping patrons to sober up before leaving.”
Our Nightlife Queensland Secretary Nick Braban attacked KAP for supporting the winding back of trading hours describing the 1am lock out as “draconian” that would cost jobs and kill business.
The LNP, in opposing the changes, has waded in accusing KAP of “backflipping” and causing chaos to Cairns’ status as an internationally renowned tourist destination.
Former LNP Member for Barron River and tourist operator Michael Trout, said KAP is not welcome in Cairns.
“It no longer has any relevance,” Mr Trout said.
“KAP is too close to the ALP and is now seen as being in bed with them.
“The night chaplains are upset and an ABC poll showed 75 per cent support against the changes.
“I thought they (KAP) would never sell our town down the drain. It is not a beat up and is not going to go away.”
Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce joined the fray believing the early lock down would create transport issues.
Cairns Taxis chairman Layne Gardiner said the city’s 137 cabs would not be able to provide the same level of service when venues are unable to serve alcohol after 3am.
He said when large numbers of patrons leave venues simultaneously, on big nights, trouble usually breaks out at taxi ranks.
“I think that when they start to wait on ranks, that’s when fights do break out and unfortunately we are the end result who have to take them home,” Mr Gardiner said.
A KAP spokesman said due to the large number of calls and emails received by Mr Knuth and Mr Katter, the majority of Queenslanders supported the changes leaving Cairns as the main objector.
Christopher Pyne’s comments to Channel Nine about Clive Palmer and Queensland Nickel angers KAP’s Rob Katter
Christopher Pyne told Channel Nine this week that Queensland Nickel’s voluntary administration was; “an example of why people shouldn’t play with independents and minor parties, because of the instability they create.”
The comment angered Katter’s Australian Party State Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter.
Mr Katter said; “I had steam coming out of my ears when I heard that.
“It is absolute nonsense and it’s part of the game for the major parties to really remove proper debate from the parliaments and operate as it’s intended to.
“Christopher Pyne sadly confuses simple government with stable government now.”
Mr Katter said a parliament kept to only two parties was not necessarily stable or effective.
For example, the Queensland Labor Government has been spending the first 12 months of its term undoing policy decisions made by the former LNP government.
“The poor people of Queensland keep getting this whole revolving door of policy,” he said.
Mr Katter said the two major parties in the Queensland Parliament had for at least 10 years tried to bring in ethanol mandate legislate but it took the KAP as recent as last year to get it passed.
Mr Pyne also told Channel Nine: “Quite frankly, whether it’s Labor or Liberal, we have the processes in place to ensure that we don’t have the kind of outcomes that happen with PUP or One Nation or whatever political party is passing at the time.”
Federal Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer’s Townsville based Queensland Nickel went into voluntary administration and recently made 237 workers redundant.
Fairfax Media reports that Mr Palmer promised to one day write to every Townsville home to explain what happened at Queensland Nickel.
“The issue is not a political one,” he said.
KAP wants sweeter deal for cane farmers
Meetings into the future of sugar marketing in Australia over the past two nights in Ingham and Innisfail have seen resounding calls for State and Federal Governments to act to preserve growers’ economic interests and to retain existing marketing arrangements.
The meetings were attended by KAP State MPs Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter, leading cane growing groups Canegrowers and Australian Cane Farmers, peak ethanol industry body Biofuels Australia, a representative of the AWU speaking on behalf of employees, local farmers and community members.
State Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said that he and Robbie Katter MP would be introducing a Private Members Bill on behalf of the sugar growers, but better still they hoped the Government would take the Bill on themselves with the KAP MPs and farmers’ support.
Mr Knuth said he had seen what the closure of industries had done to small towns across Queensland.
“I have great concerns for the coastal communities that stretch from Bundaberg through to north of Mossman, including the Atherton tablelands, if this is not resolved.
“The sugar industry drives the economies of those towns.
“The last thing we want to see is all the profits going to foreign companies at the expense of these communities.
“I’ve seen the damage that closing one railway station does to rural communities and those once-thriving western communities are now ghost towns,” Mr Knuth said.
State Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said at the meeting that he wanted a future for his children where there was still an agricultural industry in Queensland.
“We want more opportunities.
“The foreign owned Wilmars of the world can say they create opportunities, but they’re essentially opportunities for the corporatised, foreign owned Wilmar, rather than for farming families.
“Governments really need a punch in the nose, they need to deliver outcomes and not just another inquiry and lip service.
“There needs to be legislation that protects the farmer as the primary producer and sees a return to statutory marketing,” Rob Katter said.
Chairman of the Innisfail meeting Barry Barnes said it was testament to the integrity of the KAP State politicians that they had attended a meeting outside of their electorate on an issue that affected a large portion of Queensland agriculture, the viability of the Queensland sugar industry.
“Most politicians only come out of their electorates before an election to buy votes.
“But Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter have come to these meetings early in the Parliamentary cycle because they realise the urgency in the marketing of sugar, which is currently not in the farmers’ best interest,” Mr Barnes said.
Federal member for Kennedy Bob Katter, who called the meetings, said he was deeply appreciative of the two State members of Parliament who were shouldering the responsibilities of not only their own electorates but also the wider interests of North Queensland.
He also advanced the calls for mandatory ethanol in Australia, which relies heavily on sugar production, saying it was about the only product left that Australians could make any money out of.
“Try growing tomatoes, China will kill you.
“Try growing prawns, Thailand will kill you.
“We just can’t compete with the imported products.
“But ethanol, we know we can make money out of and we have to convince the Parliament of the absolute necessity for ethanol,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter will be putting forward amendments to legislation at the Federal level reflecting the meetings’ resolutions.
The meetings’ formal resolutions were as follows:
QLD State Government – Sugar Industry Act 1999 – Demand the State Government legislate as required to recognise:
- grower economic interest
- real choice in grower market interest
- preserve current equity marketing interests
- provisions for commercial dispute resolution
- retention of independent industry owned marketing body.
Federal Government – Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010 – Demand the Federal Government legislate for a mandatory Code of Conduct to recognise:
- grower economic interest
- real choice in grower market interest
- preserve current equity marketing interests
- provisions for commercial dispute resolution
- retention of independent industry owned marketing body.
Labor will be held to account by KAP
The member for Mount Isa Rob Katter said he was not surprised by the ALP’s success in taking government, and he is hopeful of still achieving KAP’s main priorities, but KAP support would come at a cost.
“The announcement of ALP taking government comes as no surprise and our strategy has been based heavily on this assumption from the start.
“We have had strong discussions with the ALP over the past weeks to give them an understanding of the deficit in investment in rural and regional areas that is holding back growth in the state.
“We still intend to deliver on the extension of the life of the Copper Smelter, the Hann Highway, proper Royalties to Regions and an Ethanol Industry.
“The new premier was highly interested in the policies we have been pushing and has committed to getting around the state during her term to get a better feel for our issues,” Mr Katter said.
Both ALP and LNP had acknowledged that under any future scenario of government the KAP support would be critical in providing a stable government and Mr Katter said KAP intended to make this value count for delivering investment into the regions.
“The KAP is all for supporting a stable government but this support will only come at a cost and the ALP will be held heavily to account in the early part of this term to ensure they show more commitment to rural and regional Queensland than the last LNP government made.
“There is still a cloud of uncertainty over how long the current numbers will stay where they are, pending the appeals on the Ferny Grove decision.
“Three years is a long time for a government to manage without any scandal, loss or absence of any sitting members.
“This underpins a strong reliance on, and therefore strong leverage for the cross benches.
“With the Gang of Six gone from the leadership of the LNP it keeps open the option of having them on hand if this government does not deliver to rural and regional Queensland.”
It’s time for rural and regional Queensland to share the spoils
In front of 19 different media people, KAP members Rob Katter and Shane Knuth outlined their priorities for rural and regional Queensland on the Speakers Green at Parliament House this afternoon.
Saying it was time rural and regional Queensland enjoyed the spoils in terms of jobs and industry, Mr Katter said they would work with any Government that was prepared to unlock that prosperity that was lying latent in the regions.
Rob Katter Member for Mount Isa said he was bound to deliver to his electorate first, and listed no asset sales as top of the list and many others that all adhere to the theme of productive infrastructure not populist infrastructure.
“Dams, roads and rail lines not sports stadiums and traffic tunnels,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Knuth said the KAP MPs had not yet spoken to either Labor or LNP, but were open to those discussions.
“We’re basically not interested in the great Labor Party or the great Liberal Party. What we are interested in are the best interests of Queenslander’s and rural and regional Queensland.
“We don’t have any favouritism whatsoever.”
The MPs pointed out that “Labor and LNP are one scandal away or one member quitting, from needing our vote if one side takes majority government.
“They will be a lot kinder to us than they have been in the past