Every parliamentary member of Katter’s Australian Party will show their support for separate North Queensland State by attending the upcoming ‘Boot Brisbane’ public forum in Cairns.
KAP state leader Robbie Katter and federal leader Bob Katter will be guest speakers at the event.
The forum will be held on Queensland Day, June 6 and will see members of parliament, senators, constitutional lawyers and industry representatives come together to discuss the creation of a separate North Queensland state.
“KAP will be represented by every elected member including myself, Shane Knuth, Nick Dametto and my father Bob,’’ Mr Katter said.
“This is a great opportunity for experts to come together to discuss this issue in all its complexity.
“We know this is a good idea and just requires people to consider this maturely and not write it off as too difficult. The biggest hurdle we have to overcome at this stage is people believing that this can become reality. All that we ask is that North Queenslanders stop and consider the facts and how this can be achieved.’’
Earlier this year a KAP request for modest funding from the State Labor government to form a study group to examine the creation of North Queensland State was denied.
“We know the Labor government doesn’t want to see the creation of a new North Queensland state and the equitable sharing of wealth across the entire state of Queensland,’’ he said.
“However, we always expected obstacles would be placed in our path but we won’t be put off just because city-centric governments won’t support North Queenslanders.’’
Mr Katter said regional Queenslanders were hugely under-represented in the political sphere and this was a situation likely to worsen.
“At the last state election we saw the creation of four extra metropolitan electorates,’’ he said.
“With population numbers for Queensland forecast to increase by 100,000* a year we are going to see the creation of more metropolitan electorates.
“It is only going to become more difficult in the future to create a separate North Queensland state.’’
Mr Bill Bates, who is co-organiser of the event with Raj Patel, said with about 70 seats located within 250 kilometres of Brisbane, State Governments chose to pander to metropolitan constituents because they needed these voters to get themselves elected.
“Queensland state governments are more worried about creating metropolitan infrastructure that gets people to work five minutes earlier than wealth-creating opportunities and industry in regional Queensland,’’ he said.
“We are hoping to change that.’’
For more information on the forum visit www.bootbrisbane.com.
*Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland Treasury http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/qld-govt-pop-proj-lga/qld-govt-pop-proj-lga-2011-edn.pdf