RAIL line upgrades should be a focus to restore industry confidence and jobs growth in the North, Robbie Katter says.
The State Member for Mount Isa has called on infrastructure issues to be urgently addressed on the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.
“We have to be mindful of the fact that in the last 12 months there have been at least 1000 fly-in-fly-out jobs out of Townsville lost in the North West,” he said.
“It’s in everyone’s best interests to get industry-enabling infrastructure, such as the rail line, back to a point where it is again accessible and working to its full capacity.”
“If it’s good for the North West, it’s good for Townsville.”
Mr Katter said patience was running out to improve transport corridors in the North.
“We’ve waited far too long for the State Government to recognise the critical need for significant investment in upgrading the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line,” Mr Katter said.
“There must be some movement on fixing this ageing line and now is the time for the State Government to step up and address these issues.”
“If the State Government wants the region to thrive into the future they need to recognise the pressures and inefficiencies on the rail line.”
“Productivity and safety cannot be compromised because of ageing infrastructure which has been neglected by successive governments.”
Mr Katter said State Government investment would bring confidence to the North.
“The mining industry is going through tough times and it needs stimulation to secure jobs,” he said.
“The State Government needs to enable industry in the North West and fixing up the rail line should be one of the starting points.”
“If we have an effective and productive rail line we will see a lot of flow-on benefits.”
“It’s in the best interests of the State Government to support a region which generates approximately $300m in royalties per annum and brings $2.8 billion to the Queensland economy through mining.“