Katter: Budget a start but not enough

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Funding for some critical roads in the Mount Isa electorate in yesterday’s budget is welcome, but not enough, says Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter.

“I welcome the Western Roads Package, the $5m for the Cloncurry-Dajarra Road, the $25m for the Flinders Highway, the $5m for the Bedourie-Boulia Road, and the $3.4m for the Hulbert bridge near Richmond, which comes under the $40m for Western Roads.

“However there is still a sense of geographical bias present and you do wonder about this Government’s commitment to stimulating the regional economy,” Mr Katter said.

He pointed out the funding for roads such as the Flinders Highway was making up for years of neglect.

“The government has to get serious about building a platform for mining and agriculture and to stimulate industry growth in the western area, and we need critical infrastructure to do that.”

Mr Katter said he would continue to fight for rural roads and infrastructure.

“It is understood there will be a federal funding committed for the Hann Highway, which we are certain the state government will match,” he said.

“There is a backlog of critical works on the smaller roads, like the Cloncurry-Dajarra Road which we will continue to put pressure.

Despite this Mr Katter acknowledges that there is a $200 million committed to the Regional Development fund which creates an opportunity for water infrastructure.

“We will be working hard to ensure we secure a piece of that pie,” he said.

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