Rourke Walsh, Broome Advertiser Updated July 28, 2013, 8:00 am
Rourke Walsh © Senator Alan Eggleston has been explaining the Coalition’s plan for northern Australia in Kununurra this week.
Kununurra’s irrigated agriculture offers enormous potential and would be considered a template to be replicated elsewhere if the Coalition presses ahead with its plan for northern Australia, WA Senator Alan Eggleston says.
Dr Eggleston and north Queensland-based Liberal Senator Ian McDonald were in Kununurra on Monday night to meet with community leaders and discuss aspects of the plan.
Newly announced Liberal candidate for Durack Melissa Price also attended the night alongside about 20 residents.
Dr Eggleston said the trip was to explain aspects of the plan that were relevant to the East Kimberley region including expansions to irrigated agriculture and Wyndham’s Port.
“People are always talking about the great potential of the north but the Liberal Party is actually doing something about it,” he said.
“The driver behind all of this is that in South-East Asia in the next 20 years there is going to be something like 350,000 people moving into middle class income status.” Dr Eggleston said the region’s main highways, including the treacherous Tanami Road, were also discussed as being in line for upgrades under the plan.
“Our Great Northern Highway has a lot of problems highlighted by that big crash in Derby at the weekend where there was a single-lane bridge,” he said.
“How can you have a single lane bridge when there are enormous road trains carrying materials up to the north.” Dr Eggleston said he was a big supporter of the plan to upgrade the Tanami Road and had personally presented the Shire of Halls Creek’s consultants report to Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s office.