Article – North opportunities at threat

28 June 2015
Andrew Cripps
The North West Star

THE Abbott Government’s Northern Australia White Paper lays the foundations for new investment in North Queensland.

We already knew this strategy would be supported by $100 million for northern beef roads and a $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.

The white paper saw more announcements – a $600 million Northern Australia Roads Package, $200 million dedicated within the National Water Infrastructure Fund and $75 million for a Northern Australia Co-operative Research Centre, focused on soils and biosecurity.

That’s almost $1 billion in direct funding and access to a $5 billion loan facility, to kick start development in Northern Australia.

The LNP deserves recognition for its commitment to the north by developing its strategic white paper and supporting it with funding programs.

North Queensland’s natural resources and beauty have meant our economic strengths have been in agriculture, resources and tourism.

These are also the most likely opportunities for new job creating projects.  So, there’s nothing standing in our way, right?  Wrong!

The long overdue and desperately needed opportunities for development in North Queensland could be compromised, limited or missed altogether, if the Palaszczuk Labor Government, captured by the Greens, persists with a range of its backward looking policies.

Since coming to office, Labor has blocked the LNP’s reforms to the Water Act to underpin new irrigated agriculture projects and announced it will reverse the LNP’s amendments to the Vegetation Management Act, to provide for the expansion of agriculture.

A ban’s been reimposed on uranium mining – denying the North West a new industry.

There’s talk of new Wild Rivers legislation, which would deny indigenous communities jobs.

Labor had to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide a development protocol for the IFED project.

We’ve had the release of water in the Flinders River delayed and the release of water in the Gilbert River suspended.

We’ve seen the sustainable development of Olive Vale Station attacked.  We’ve had threats to wind back access to our National Parks for tourism.

Development in North Queensland will require certainty and security to give investors the confidence to support new projects.

Extreme green groups have seized control over the policies of the Palaszczuk Government.  This is why Labor is a threat to northern development.

Shadow Minister for Northern Development, Member for Hinchinbrook
Courtesy of the North West Star

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