Article – Entsch upbeat about Far North prospects

9 September 2013
Liam Parsons
The Cairns Post
WARREN Entsch says better days are ahead for the Far North after the Coalition swept to a convincing victory at the weekend.
Mr Entsch said the Coalition’s northern Australia policy and commitment to scrap the carbon tax and review the Coral Sea marine park would benefit the people of Leichhardt.
“Northern Australia is going to be one of the major benefactors after this election,” he said.
The Coalition has vowed to produce a white paper for northern Australia’s development in the next 12 months that would include plans to boost food production, draw two million international tourists a year and increase the population through personal and business tax incentives.
The establishment of a $40 million Australian Institute of Sport Cairns campus will also become a major focus for Mr Entsch during the next term.
“The AIS centre is something I’m absolutely committed to,” he said.
“It’s just phenomenal the impact this is going to have.” He said improving the visa system for Chinese visitors was also vital to help Cairns make the most of the booming tourism market.
Mr Entsch claimed victory on Saturday after recording about 55 per cent of the vote on a two-candidate preferred basis.
While he conceded he had underestimated billionaire Clive Palmer’s fledgling party and lost ground throughout Cape York, voters had demonstrated their trust in him for another three years.
“We need to fulfil our commitments from day one and we really need to make a huge difference here,” he said.
After turning down the chance to receive a portfolio following the 2001 and 2004 elections, Mr Entsch said he would happily accept one in the new Tony Abbott-led government.
“You never expect to be given a portfolio,” said Mr Entsch, who has served as chief Opposition Whip for the past three years.
“But if there is an opportunity to utilise my experience I would certainly be willing to consider it,” he said.
“I would like something that relates to my region.” Unsuccessful Labor candidate Billy Gordon did not return calls from the Cairns Post yesterday but thanked his supporters on his Facebook page on Saturday night.
Courtesy of The Cairns Post