Enviro Bill another reason for separate state

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto believes North Queensland needs to become its own separate state.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has reignited calls for a separate North Queensland state ahead of public hearings on a farm-destroying Bill proposed by Labor.

The Labor-stacked Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee now plans to hold hearings in regional areas throughout the Great Barrier Reef’s catchment for the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.

It followed heavy backlash from farming bodies after the committee had initially scheduled only one public hearing in Brisbane this coming Monday.

“We acknowledge the committee has realised the issue that regions do need a voice on this Bill and I would strongly urge them to hold public hearings in all six reef catchments that will be affected,” Mr Dametto said.

“These farmers are going to be directly impacted by this legislation and if they are not allowed to have their say, the committee will be just rushing through the process.”

Mr Dametto slammed the contempt Labor had shown for North Queensland farmers in even proposing the Bill.

“From the man on the land to regional mayors and local MPs, people are absolutely fed up with the way they are treated by Brisbane when it comes to legislation that will greatly impact our livelihoods,” he said.

“We need to give North Queensland a proper voice and the only way to do that is to form a separate state. Let’s have local decisions made by locals and not green extremists.”

The proposed Bill, which was introduced into parliament last month, is set to impose even more restrictions on farmers trying to make ends meet.

Among the key concerns highlighted by industry regarding the Bill include its undermining of existing efforts by growers to improve water quality, imposing “Big Brother” style supervision over everyday farming decisions and effectively hobbling the cane industry’s ability to expand.

“It’s obvious to anyone with common sense that this Bill is a complete assault on farming and dismisses the important work our growers have already done to improve Great Barrier Reef water quality and reduce fertiliser and sediment runoff,” Mr Dametto said.

“This government needs to stop kowtowing to environmentalists and start listening to our farmers. They will be punished at the ballot box come election time if they continue to ignore the North and wage war on the very industries that keep this State going.”

Mr Dametto said he and fellow KAP MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth would continue to fight for a separate North Queensland state and “stand up to the southern bullies who take us for granted”.

“I say to my fellow North Queenslanders, if you are sick and tired of having your livelihoods eroded by Brisbane and want to send a message, vote KAP,” he said.

“It’s time to unleash the power of this great region by breaking away.”

Nick Dametto MP