16 May, 2023
Katter unimpressed with Budget
KENNEDY MP Bob Katter has labelled the 2023-24 Federal Budget as “unimaginative,” one that robs “Peter to pay Paul” and one that creates no money-making projects.
“It just pulls some money from here and puts it over there,” Mr Katter said.
He said one of the budget’s headline statements was cost-of-living relief, but the measures taken by the government were just band aid fixes.
“So, they’re giving out $500 in electricity relief, totalling $3bn, but doing nothing to address the issue long-term.
“That $3bn would go a very long way towards upgrading and converting our sugar mills to produce both enough ethanol for our domestic needs while also supplying significant gigawatts of electricity.
“All the cost-of-living relief measures were just handouts – there were no money-making projects that are going to inject new revenue into the economy and provide real taxation relief and economic support to the most vulnerable.
“Where are the factories that create jobs and wages, where are projects like Hells Gates Dam that would provide irrigation for a large-scale industrial undertaking which would include hydro electricity, grazing land accompanying a meat-works industry, and water for sugarcane for ethanol production?
“The government is pushing electric vehicles, yet we’re importing them and sending the wealth overseas – where’s our manufacturing of EVs that would create jobs and economic prosperity?
“Australia has a real opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower, but this won’t be achieved with an offshore wind farm and hydrogen trial.”
Mr Katter said any cost-of-living relief would quickly be mitigated with the government’s plans to increase the road user tax by about 20 per cent imposed upon the nation’s trucking industry.
“That’s an extra 20 per cent cost rise to all your basic goods, all your groceries, all the inputs for small businesses which are already struggling to stay afloat,” he said.
Mr Katter said he welcomed the additional support in increased Medicare and the increases to the single parent payments which will allow sole parents to earn the payment until their youngest child turns 14.
On housing, Mr Katter said the government continued down the path of increasing demand with handout initiatives, rather than supply.
“The additional rent assistance, just like the home buyer schemes will put more money in pockets and increase the demand, increasing the rent,” he said.
On agriculture, he said that despite “farmers were the backbone of this country”, the budget had provided limited support.
“$1bn to control of pest and disease will do little to compensate rising electricity, transport, fertiliser, wage and packaging costs,” Mr Katter said.
“Overall, it’s a budget really just full of handouts and does little to establish industry, and to establish revenue-generating projects which, if invested in correctly by the government, would slow inflation and increase wages – two hurdles currently crippling this nation.”
$168.1m over four years to administer scheme – facilitating the delivery of Pacific workers to our agriculture sector
$27.3m over four years to oversight worker rights
$57.1m Critical Minerals International Partnership Program
$23.4m for a Critical Minerals Office
Training Primary Care Professionals
$4.2m over two years to support JCU to train healthcare practitioners
$30M increase to $180M over five years expanding Cairns Marine Precinct (matched by Queensland Government) to deliver common facility including ship-lift and work areas
$50M over four years support new CQU campus in Cairns CBD
$192.5M over four years to support projects in Townsville including Port of Townsville channel upgrade
$40M strata title disaster mitigation works in North Queensland
$13M stronger Paddock to Reef monitoring, modelling and reporting
$120B over 10 years for nationally significant projects
$121.7M in communication upgrades over five years for Queensland Black Spots
$142.5M over five years for bridges renewal
$3.2B over 12 years to expand investment in nationally significant water infrastructure
Remote Airstrip program
Additional $12M over three years for further round of Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program
Developing Northern Australia
$1.7M to refresh White Paper supported by assessment of three Growth Corridors including Mount Isa to Townsville
$8.1M to 25-26 for Queensland for roads for cattle supply chains
$173.7M over five years for infrastructure including links to towns, ports and airport
$897.4 over five years for Queensland key freight routes
First Nations Water Infrastructure
$150M for First Nations water infrastructure projects in remote locations
Improve Remote Food Security
$11.8M over two years to develop National Strategy for Food Security in Remote First Nations
Defer funding for Hughenden Irrigation Scheme
Increase Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge by six per cent per year over three years reduc-ing the fuel tax credit given to users by $1.1B.