Dametto backs Reef audit resolution

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto supports Katter’s Australian Party leader Bob Katter’s planned resolution that calls for Great Barrier Reef science to be audited by the Federal Auditor-General

A PLANNED resolution to demand that Great Barrier Reef science be audited by the Federal Auditor-General has been strongly backed by Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

The Katter’s Australian Party MP said the resolution drafted by party leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter “deserved the full support of Federal parliament”.

“This resolution reflects the concerns of thousands of farmers across Queensland who are being held to ransom by science that hasn’t been checked or replicated which is influencing government policy,” Mr Dametto said.

“The State Labor Government’s proposed Environmental Protection Amendment Bill is the perfect example of this. It’s a Bill which not only demonises farmers for contributing to the so-called poor health of the Reef but ties them up in unworkable green tape which could potentially ruin them.

“Bob is right to call for a Federal audit of the science behind policies like this. It is needed urgently.”

The resolution, which is expected to moved in Federal Parliament on Monday, comes as former JCU Professor Peter Ridd was successfully awarded compensation after his contract was wrongly terminated by the university for voicing his differing opinions on reef quality.

Mr Katter said his resolution echoed Professor Ridd’s public views and calls for the Auditor General to set up an audit which focuses on the reef science specific to Reef turbidity, sediment and nutrient runoff for six Queensland catchments; Cape York, Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary.

“We will now be moving a resolution in the House of Representatives requesting the Auditor General carries out an audit into the science behind the constant denigration of the Great Barrier Reef, and, a forensic audit specifically into the $120 million allocated for Crown of Thorns starfish removal and the subsequent $443 million reef plan,” Mr Katter said.

“We are in receipt of a brown paper envelope given to us with documents, which have also been supplied to the Australian Federal Police. These documents raise the most serious concerns about certain people who are constantly denigrating the Great Barrier Reef and consequently securing reef rescue monies. It will be determined in whose pockets did the $120 million land, and what did we get for this generous largesse.

“The Peter Ridd case is far from over.”

Meanwhile, Mr Dametto joined with farmers from across North Queensland, as well as fellow Katter’s Australian Party MPs Shane Knuth, Member for Hill, and

Member for Traeger Robbie Katter, to protest the State Government’s Bill in Townsville last Tuesday.

“I believe the Federal Coalition Government has a responsibility to back Bob’s resolution. Auditing the Reef science will put an end to this debate once and for all and is the best way for the Coalition to help stop Queensland State Labor’s farm-destroying Environmental Protection Amendment Bill,” Mr Dametto said.

“Everyone from Coalition State MPs to Federal MPs have been calling for an audit of the Reef science. Well here’s a way to do it. If there’s nothing to hide, then what are they worried about?”

Nick Dametto MP