No beers to be cheered over Federal budget: KAP
The Morrison Government’s Federal Budget ticks all the political boxes but fails to deliver a strong vision for North Queensland, Katter’s Australian Party MPs have said.
Speaking today in Brisbane, KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the Federal Treasurer had delivered an uninspiring budget that would give little hope to Australians about the future.
Crucial nation-building projects, such as Copperstring 2.0, a rail-line into the Galilee Basin and Hell’s Gate Dam, were not funded.
“As my father (Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter) pointed out, there’s money for tax relief in there for breweries and distillers but nothing for CopperString so perhaps the LNP were on the drink when they came up with this budget,” he said.
“I certainly won’t be saying cheers over what’s been delivered.
“We’re here today trying to understand why you would ignore an opportunity to further open up the precious metal resources out in north-west Queensland; this would be a great economic enabler for the state and also the country as we go through our COVID-19 recovery.
“We also want to remind the Federal Government that while there has in the past been some money thrown at crucial dam projects in Queensland, this is not enough.
“It’s not just about the cash – it’s about driving projects to completion so that outcomes are actually delivered.
“Our message is that if you’re going to talk about developing Australia and give people some hope for the future, get ready to get your hands dirty and make things happen.”
KAP Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said a significant feature of the 2021-22 Federal Budget was the reinsurance pool for North Queensland.
“As Bob Katter has made very clear, we want to make sure that the insurance companies aren’t hi-jacking things over the next 12 months as we go through the processes of understanding how the insurance pool is to be implemented,” he said.
“We also want to make sure that Federal Government knows it’s on notice – this almost looks like a Labor Budget.
“It’s been a broad-stroke effort to make sure a lot of people are happy.
“There’s been a lot of money spent on road infrastructure which is important for the regions, but once again there’s no nation-building infrastructure.”
KAP Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he welcomed the funding pledged to Medicare to improve the sustainability of bulk-billing medical practices in rural and regional Queensland.
“The KAP has been pushing for this for a long time so this is good news,” he said.
“But we will certainly be on the Government’s back to make sure this is more than just a PR stunt that gives the perception something is being done.
“We want to see more doctors move to rural and regional Queensland and, to make this happen, there needs to be better packages that encourage them to work, live and stay in these parts of the state.”