07 Dec ONLY REGIONS DESERVE DICK’S ROYALTIES REVENUE: KATTER
The $4.5 billion extra royalties windfall that will be paid to the Queensland Government this financial year must be solely invested in regional Queensland, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MPs have said.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the additional cash netted in Labor’s controversial new coal royalties regime – modelled by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) to be worth $4.5 billion in 2022-23 – would be best spent on vital transport infrastructure namely roads, rails and ports in regional communities.
This would include major regional centres Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa as well as rural and remote outposts.
The QRC’s figure $4.5 billion figure is higher than the updated $2.95 billion Treasury estimate, released today, and totally eclipses the State Government’s original estimate of $765 million.
Mr Katter floated the Bruce Highway north of Rockhampton, the Kuranda Bypass highway on the Atherton Tablelands, sealing works to adequately connect remote communities and upgrades to marine infrastructure (including mini ports) and rail-lines as main priorities.
He said the Queensland Treasurer’s promise of a $3 billion “regional infrastructure fund”, to be built up over a series of years and held in a long-term asset held by the Consolidated Fund, was small change compared to what the Government was set to make in coal royalties over the coming years.
“The $3 billion fund is an insult,” Mr Katter said.
“Not only have the regions been dealt the blow with the next decade of the State’s infrastructure program being tied up with hosting the Olympics, now they’re shamelessly trying to rob us of the profits that the regions solely make.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is simultaneously robbing the coal industry and waging an ideological war in a bid to shut it down, whilst using profits drawn from it to pay for the gluttonous priorities of the inner-city elites and throwing a few vote-buying scraps to the regions at election time – the hypocrisy is outrageous.”