Article – New hope Abbot Point will get go-ahead BACK IN BUSINESS

9 September 2013
Anthony Templeton
Townsville Bulletin

KICK-STARTING the stalled Abbot Point expansion has been identified as a “must-do” project to get North Queensland’s economy moving again and create jobs after the Coalition’s comfortable election victory.
The expansion of the coal terminal is crucial to securing $10 billion worth of investment in new mines and transport infrastructure in the Galilee Basin.
Dawson MP George Christensen said he would be lobbying the environment minister as soon as the position was chosen by Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott.
“I want to take a delegation of business representatives from Bowen and Collinsville as well as (Whitsunday) Mayor Jennifer Whitney down to Canberra to meet the (environment) minister as soon as they are appointed,” he said after being easily re-elected with a 15 per cent margin on Saturday.
“The decision has been delayed long enough and we want to get the expansion approved as soon as possible.
“It’s a huge project that will create a lot of jobs and bring more investment into the region.”
The fight to kick-start Abbot Point comes after the LNP cruised to victory on Saturday, and the party will now have to live up to its rhetoric on developing northern Australia.
The LNP is expected to win 86 seats, securing a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives and allowing the Coalition to press forward with its mandate to restore confidence and boost the economy.
Herbert MP Ewen Jones was re-elected with an almost 11 per cent margin after preferences, helping cement Townsville as a Coalition stronghold.
Mr Jones said he wanted to bring more defence jobs to the region.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to have (the Defence Material Organisation) up here in Townsville,” he said.
The LNP made huge inroads in the seat of Kennedy, which had been held by maverick Bob Katter with a commanding 18 per cent margin.
Mr Katter suffered a massive 16 per cent swing against him in Kennedy, with LNP candidate Noeline Ikin trailing by 3000 votes.
Courtesy of Townsville Bulletin