Rural & Regional
A North Queensland state
A separate state is the only way to unlock North Queensland’s full potential.
KAP wants North Queensland to split from the south to create a separate state. We think it is important to revisit the lines that were drawn on a map more than 150 hundred years ago.
Queensland was originally part of New South Wales – it was one big state. In 1851, there was a public meeting to discuss the possibility of the north splitting from New South Wales to become its own state. People were worried that the people governing were geographically too far away. In 1859, the state split and Queensland was created.
For too long, North Queensland has been treated as South East Queensland’s poor cousin. KAP believes the only way to unlock North Queensland’s massive potential, is to create a separate state. Successive governments have had 159 years to prove that they can govern the entire state, not just the south east corner, but time and time again North Queensland gets ignored.
It’s time to redraw the boundaries and give North Queensland the chance to thrive.
Rural pubs and clubs
A fairer go for rural hotels.
The current liquor licencing framework requires all pubs to pay the same licence fee regardless of their size or location.
This means that a tiny pub in Georgetown pays the same licence fee as the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane.
In 2017, Robbie Katter introduced a Bill into Queensland parliament to establish a new discount licencing framework for pubs in remote areas, who will only have to pay 10 per cent of the current licence fee.
This policy recognises the important role pubs play in small towns, where they are as much a community venue as they are a place to drink.
KAP wants to see small towns and communities thrive, and one way to help achieve this is by ensuring businesses are not stifled by unreasonable fees.
This Bill gained the support of all sides of politics, however the 2017 state election was called before it was voted on.
Robbie Katter introduced the Bill in Queensland Parliament during May.
First home owner’s grant
Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has taken up the fight with REIQ for first home buyers living in smaller regional centre.
Currently the State Government first home owner’s grant of $20,000 only applies to new houses and not to existing houses, disadvantaging younger people wanting to remain in smaller centres.
The first home owners grant is a good scheme with initial intentions to invigorate the building industry and alleviate the strain on first home buyers, however it inadvertently discriminates against first home buyer’s living in smaller regional centres.
These centres are different to metro areas. Economies are flat, limited or no housing developments are occurring and there is already a surplus of existing affordable housing.
The REIQ have been fighting for this change for quite some time.
During May, Nick asked the Deputy Premier in parliament about reviewing the current policy and was given the assurance that the policy will be looked at.
REIQ Regional Zone Chairman Wayne Nicholson also supports the KAP on this issue, saying he and other regional counterparts have also called for changes to the unbalanced current scheme.
“Regional centres have ample supply of good affordable existing homes which are ideal for first home buyers and opening up the scheme to allow the grant to apply to first home buyers, purchasing existing homes in regional centres, would drive sales, which in turn would allow the sellers to upscale and so the cycle moves forward,” he said.
“To grow a tree you have to plant a seed at ground level.”
Financial Assistance Grants
Let’s ensure regional councils are given a fair share.
Local Government Financial Assistance Grants require a review into how funding is allocated across local councils.
Regional local councils get allocated too small a portion of the pot.
Metropolitan councils get allocated funding based on a similar proportional allocation methodology to regional councils, despite the need for funds being far greater outside south east Queensland.
For metropolitan councils, Financial Assistance Grants make up a minute percentage of their annual revenue and would suffer little from a reduction in their allocation.
Regional councils rely heavily on the grants to undertake vital works and stimulate local employment.
KAP wants a change to the methodology for Local Government Financial Assistance Grants to ensure regional councils are given a greater share.