Article – "Residents must speak up"

12 March 2014
Monique Patterson
The North West Star
MOUNT Isa residents who want a fairer zone allowance tax must speak up.
The city’s Mayor Tony McGrady yesterday expressed disappointment that only 1358 people had signed a petition calling for “an equitable zone allowance”.
Cr McGrady said he needed “ammunition” to present to the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia when it hosts a hearing as part of its inquiry in Mount Isa on Thursday, April 3.
“I think it’s time to stop whinging and come in and sign this petition,” he said.
Cr McGrady said he was disappointed with the response, considering the petition was sent to all councils in northern Australia and was at businesses throughout the Mount Isa CBD and the council office, for people to sign.
“I think even at this late stage people, particularly in Mount Isa, should come into the council office and sign it.”
Cr McGrady said anyone saying signing it was a waste of time was wrong.
“It’s not, because when I met with the Deputy Prime Minister some months ago he assured me the matter would be discussed when they’re working on the wording of the white paper,” he said.
Cr McGrady said he believed everyone in the community supported a fairer zone tax allowance, but he needed evidence to present at the hearing.
“Give me the ammunition for when I go to this hearing so I can say I speak on behalf of the people of Mount Isa,” he said.
Some of the other groups invited to speak at the hearing include the Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Development Zone, the Cloncurry and Boulia shire councils and the Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce.
Cr McGrady and Deputy Mayor Brett Peterson launched the petition in November 2013.
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Courtesy of The North West Star