17 June 2015
North Queensland Register
THE future of the North West as part of the push to develop Northern Australia could be revealed this week.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make an announcement about developing Northern Australia in Cairns, which may mean the release of the much anticipated white paper.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey spoke of the announcement when encouraging drought embattled graziers at the Cloncurry Cattleman’s Dinner.
$100 million allocated to roads to improve the cattle industry was “just the start”.
“It’s not a gift from government, it’s a partnership fund to say to investors that we want to build the pipelines, the railways, the ports, the airports that are going to open up the great north.
“With real money hitting the deck, you will see your influence and that of Andrew (the Cloncurry Mayor) and the council have helped to shape the destiny of the entire region.”
It was the third year that Mr Hockey attended the Cattleman’s dinner.
He returned to Cloncurry this time to support Councillor Andrew Daniels, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour last year.
“We’ve all had a tough year,” Mr Hockey said.
“But everything is put into perspective when someone you actually have a deep affection for is facing even tougher times than yourself.”
He acknowledged that 80 per cent of the state was drought declared and the tough conditions of graziers.
Cr Daniels said the white and green papers on developing northern Australia “have been a long time coming”.
“Things like Cave Hill Dam have dropped off the radar, how did this happen?” Cr Daniels asked.
“The construction of a large water storage has the opportunity to further mining development and develop irrigated agricultural industry which would value add industries like abattoirs.”
Courtesy of the North Queensland Register