Federal Member Bob Katter’s new office in Mareeba has finally opened.
After months of waiting and delays, Mr Katter’s new electorate office is now open for business from today at 143 Byrnes Street, Mareeba.
The office will be open from 8.30am to 5pm, 5 days a week and the office will be staffed fulltime by 1-2 local staff.
The new electorate office was announced in January of this year but due to COVID-19 and extended renovations, the official opening had been delayed.
At the time of announcing his new Mareeba office in January, The Federal Member said he was 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”
Mr Katter said having an MP’s office in the town was “very important” and that he will be the only politician to have an office in Mareeba following Member for Cook Cynthia Lui’s office shift to 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 said 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 Federal Member also said that the demographics in the Kennedy electorate were changing, “While the population in places like Mt Isa and Charters Towers are shrinking, the Tablelands are growing.” he said
“There are a hundred things that go wrong in Government, with banks and various other things, and regrettably due to my electorate being so huge, I am unable to personally handle them all. But the staff in the offices are in some ways actually the member of parliament themselves. My staff are very, very good. They are intelligent, and passionate about the region and handle all issues spectacularly. Katje Gibson, who is a my Chief of Staff and a local girl to the area will take a front and centre role in the office.
“We’d have 10 or 20 people a day going through my Innisfail office and Mareeba being of a similar size we anticipate similar numbers.”
Due to social distancing, an official opening party will be held in a few weeks.