State KAP leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has accused the government of regulating development and economic growth out of existence in North Queensland.
“The government’s latest, small-minded regulation is to shut down trans-shipping which would have a huge impact on small communities in Queensland,’’ he said.
“Trans-shipping has operated out for Karumba Port for around 20 years, resulting in approximately $10 billion in exports – stuffing state government coffers to the tune of around $500m in royalties.
“Trans-shipping plays a crucial role in the economic sustainability of this region by transporting lead zinc to the large transport ships anchored at sea who cannot access the small port.
“The potential for growth and economic stimulation for small communities with access to trans-shipping is enormous. Support for the creation of mini ports around Queensland’s rural coastline could be provided by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).
“It would help unlock our massive resources in Queensland as well as creating employment and training opportunities for indigenous communities and their children.
“The Labor Government is sabotaging the Queensland economy by attempting to regulate this business out of existence. They use the Great Barrier Reef as their justification, however there is no Reef in the Gulf.
“They are hiding behind flimsy environmental claims to shut down trans-shipping.’’
CEO of Queensland-based Sea Transport Corporation, Stuart Ballantyne said trans-shipping had an exemplary safety record in Queensland and interstate.
“The creation of mini-ports to receive access to trans-shipping can provide a community with an economically viable business solution that wasn’t previously available,’’ he said.
“The cost of bringing goods to the major ports via road or rail for some rural communities simply makes the business uneconomical.
“Trans-shipping is certainly an expanding option that communities are investigating. We have just completed the creation of a mini port in Lucky Bay in South Australia which has opened the door for them to begin exporting goods because of the affordable price of transport.’’