Mr KATTER: (June 6) Yes. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I will rephrase it. Will the minister rule out any further privatisation of the line from Mount Isa to Townsville that abrogates the Queensland government’s social responsibility to remote communities?
Mr EMERSON: I thank the honourable member for the further privatisation of the line from Mount Isa to Townsville that abrogates the Queensland government’s social responsibility to remote communities?
Mr EMERSON: I thank the honourable member for the question. Of course, can I also thank the honourable Deputy Premier for his guidance of the House once again.
The member has asked a number of questions about this section of line between Mount Isa and Townsville. In case he did not understand what I said the last time, I will reiterate what I said previously. In terms of that line, as we know that line has been put up as part of our Nation Building Program 2 submission to the federal government. We have asked for money for that. Unfortunately, Swannie—that so-called Queensland Treasurer—has not put the money up for it. Of course—and I am sure I will pre-empt the Premier here before he jumps up—who supports Swannie out there? Who is out there making sure he is there? Who is doing it? Who is keeping Swannie in power?
An honourable member interjected.
Mr EMERSON: That is right. The Member for Mount Isa may know the main supporter of Labor in the federal parliament. He may be aware of him. He may know him. He may know him quite intimately. The reality is that he is the leader of the member’s party, even though this week I noted in the media that one of the member’s former supporters—in fact, one of the federal directors of his party—has now abandoned his party. He was once with the council. Can I say that, unfortunately—
A government member: Do you know what his name is?
Mr EMERSON: Yes. He was once a member of the LNP. Can I say that he did see the light briefly. He went from Logan City Councillor to the LNP, then he turned an Independent, then he turned to the Queensland Party and then he turned to the Katter party. Now—
Mr KATTER: I rise to a point of order. Relevance—the minister is making no attempt to answer the question.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: The minister has been speaking to the question.
Mr EMERSON: I do not want to go through the long list of parties that he has been a member of. Now, I understand he is with the Family First party. Why did he join the Family First party? Because he missed out on that Senate spot that he was craving. But he is not the only one in this chamber—
Mr KATTER: I rise to a point of order—relevance again.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Mount Isa, the minister very directly and immediately began to answer your question and he is continuing to speak to it.
Mr EMERSON: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. As I said, we all know he was not the only one who missed out—who wanted that job, who wanted that Senate spot, but missed out. The reality is that, in the end, they wanted someone who was living and working on the land, but they could not find anyone. They could not find anyone here, could they? So they had to go for the pop star. That the reality. So I say to the member for Mount Isa to get daddy to stop supporting Labor.