Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has announced he is hoping to open a fulltime office in Mareeba in the coming months.
“I’m looking at 3 to 4 locations in Mareeba at the moment, but the final say falls with the Government,” Said Mr Katter
The Federal Member says he’s opening a new office in Mareeba to cut down on his travel time “I travel over 45 hours per week, I can’t afford to take off 45 hours per week, it’s very ineffective”
“Mareeba is the heartland of the Kennedy electorate and a new office will make it easier for me to meet with local business owners and have access to new business and government opportunities”
The move is seen as filling the vacuum left by Local Member Cook Cynthia Lui, who moved her electorate office out of the Cook electorate and into Cairns last year.
“This move has nothing to do with Cynthia moving her office to Cairns, but if you think I’m not going to take advantage of that situation, then you believe in fairy tales.”
Mr Katter told the Express there are three main reasons why he is opening an office in Mareeba.
“First it’s the heartland of the Kennedy Electorate, second if we get the balance of power in Queensland Parliament by taking Cook we can get more done and more money for the region, Third the development potential for Mareeba and surrounds is huge”
“The demographics in Kennedy are changing, while the population in places like Mt Isa and Charters Towers are shrinking, the Tablelands are growing.”
“Also look at how much Money Atherton hospital is getting, compared to Mareeba Hospital, we are not getting enough money for local roads compared to Cairns and that’s got to change”
Mr Katter said that one of his first priorities is to get the roads open from Mareeba to Cairns. “Forget about the upgrade of the range, there’s another option which is cheaper and easier. There’s a track from the Kennedy Highway that comes out near Redlynch/Caravonica. I’m meeting with Main Roads today to see how we go about making it happen”
It’s believed that the new office will be staffed fulltime 5 days a week by 1-2 local staff, starting with Katje Gibson from Atherton who will be manning the Mareeba office.
Katje is currently working for KAP MP Shane Knuth and will start as Bob Katter’s new Chief of Staff on February 5.