Canberra needs to unleash North: Dametto

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has called on Canberra to awaken the “sleeping giant” that is North Queensland after a successful trip to meet the nation’s top powerbrokers this week.

Mr Dametto was part of an 80-strong North Queensland delegation who visited Australia’s capital to advocate for projects and policies that could deliver almost 3000 new local jobs if supported by the Federal Government.

“I was proud to join this delegation and lobby our country’s leaders for more investment in North Queensland,” the Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP said.

“By uniting as one voice, I believe we’re sending a clear message to Canberra that it’s time the Federal Government got serious about investing in the North and unleashing our region’s potential.

“For a place so cold, there’s an awful lot of hot air down there but I reckon we’ve made some progress. The voice of our region has been well and truly heard.”

Mr Dametto was joined by several local mayors and industry figures on his trip, including Hinchinbrook Shire Mayor Ramon Jayo, Townsville City Council mayor Jenny Hill, Charters Towers Regional Council mayor Liz Schmidt, Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby and Townsville Enterprise CEO Patricia O’Callaghan.

“It was a pleasure to talk personally with the mayors who came down and sit in on a meeting with Member for Kennedy Bob Katter’s office, where we were all briefed on how the KAP could best represent our interests at a Federal level,” Mr Dametto said.

Mayors who attended were also able to put their case for investment in North Queensland directly to senior government figures including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Townsville-based Senator Ian Macdonald and Resources and Northern Australia Minister Senator Matt Canavan.

Topics discussed included water, energy, tourism, defence and agriculture.

“Networking at the highest levels of government is an invaluable opportunity for our local leaders and it was extremely beneficial to have been a part of that experience,” Mr Dametto said.

“The KAP has been leading the charge on calling for investment in game-changing infrastructure projects like Hells Gates Dam and The Bradfield Scheme.

“Together with my State and Federal KAP colleagues, I will continue to lobby Brisbane and Canberra for our region’s fair share of the funding pie.

“Let’s awaken the sleeping giant that is North Queensland.”

Nick Dametto MP