30 September, 2022
‘Maintain the rage’, says Katter MPs
"MAINTAIN the rage” was the clear message from Member for Kennedy Bob Katter at a public meeting held in Mareeba on Friday that explored issues ranging from the lack of GPs and a shortage of skilled labour to the need for better road connectivity and fuel security.
Hosting the meeting with his father, KAP Queensland leader Robbie Katter gave the keynote address, talking about why he got into politics, the inevitability of a separate State being created, and his frustration at what was happening in Australia in regards to fuel security, while stressing that he was there to hear about people’s problems.
“We’re here today because we’re interested in problems – I’m not the sort of politician that wants to turn up to cut the ribbon on things - I’m not interested in that, I’m interested in fixing problems,” he said.
Mr Katter also told the crowd he was absolute-ly sure that a separate State for Queensland would become a reality in the future.
“There are always steps to doing something but a separate State is going to happen.
“It’s as inevitable – there’s $730 billion in minerals in the North West Mineral province where I live – that’s all going to be mined at some point. It’s just a matter of who does it and who gets the benefits from it, and we will become a State.
“Things have got to happen and we can make that happen – if you’ve got the numbers in Parliament, you can start the steps towards that. Every-one thinks all this stuff is unbelievable but it can be done.”
Fuel security was also a critical step the country needed to tackle, with Mr Katter saying it was time the country got serious about using biofuels.
“We’re the only ones too stupid to grow our own fuel – 63 other countries in the world have mandated ethanol, all the cars are now made to use ethanol, but we’re the only idiots that are not forcing this on people.”
Although the KAP had taken the initiative and got a four per cent ethanol mandate across the line in Queensland, he said he was disappointed be-
cause the government had failed to police it.
His father later urged those attending to maintain the rage, raising issues like the cost of living, the lack of support for farmers, and the community’s dissatisfaction with many decisions by governments as to why people should no longer vote for the major parties.
“Don’t think you can’t get things done,” he said.
“Another four seats and they (the KAP and other minor parties) would control the Parliament.
“If you gave got the balance of power, you have infinitely more power and I’m pretty certain that they will form the North Queensland Parliamentary Council which will be a government within a government and they will be able to get the money then to do a lot of things that need to be done.”
Earlier in the meeting, FNQ Growers chair Joe Moro spoke about the need to improve the road network in the Mareeba Shire, saying sealing the remaining gravel section of Ootan Road had to be done as a priority, as well as the long-awaited Mareeba Bypass and an alternative road corridor to the coast or a major upgrade to the Kuranda Range Road.
Also addressing the meeting was Tablelands Canegrowers chairman Claude Santucci who said the lack of skilled labour was the biggest issue for his industry at the moment.
“Whilst the sugar market at the moment is very buoyant and prices attractive, and our crop this year is probably the best we’ve had in 15 years, it is really disheartening from a growers’ perspective looking at that crop remaining in the paddock rather than getting crushed purely due to the fact of not having truck drivers,” he said.
“In the past, in a country like Australia, you would never ever think we would be short of a truck driver and that is something that really amazes me.”
He said while growers would prefer to employ locals, he wanted both the Katter MPs to help find an alternative to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme to bring in skilled overseas workers.