Bob Katter responds to the North West Star budget editorial

I write in reply to an editorial (North West Star, May 10) and personal attack. 

Leichhardt is held by a long serving, senior LNP Member. When you drive into Cairns from the south (Kennedy) two $400m overpasses, 20km of divided highway, massive bridge across the Mulgrave River greet you. Drive in from the north, (Leichhardt), there has been virtually not a dollar spent.

The seat of Dawson is held by a very vocal LNP Member, who has long demanded spending on Urannah Dam. We have fought for Hells Gate Dam and we got $3M off the last ALP Government and similarly we got another $3M off the current LNP Government. Dawson got nothing.

We secured $320M as a grant for Copper stream -  the State Government refused the deal, the Mount Isa MP was ALP, the Queensland government ALP, the MIM with extraordinary stupidity, rejected the deal. Gas prices for power then were $3.50 a unit, they are now $17. The then head of Mount Isa Mines left the job soon after this disaster.

The Editor of the paper didn’t know that we received $270M to upgrade the highway between Cloncurry and Mount Isa.  Comparably we have since had very few deaths.

The Editor may also be unaware that we took the risk humiliating the (RET) Minister in a nationally publicised walkout during QT. He was attempting to “not” answer a question. This was to try and secure the abolition of the RETs (Renewable Emissions Tax) at around $25M a year; bigger than the annual profits made by the Copper stream or the fertiliser plant.

The Editor of this paper must have seen my press releases on Relocation Sentencing, which the Queensland Government is now seriously looking at. It will put the equivalent of 300 jobs into Mount Isa and dramatically reduce crime.

Last week in Mount Isa, I had nearly half of Mount Isa’s taxi drivers at a meeting to action the $50M of value which has been taken off taxi owners in the Kennedy electorate and handed over to a foreign corporation (Uber). This week, after 300 hours my time, we may now be able to sue Qld’s “sell out to foreigners” Govt for $1000M.

Just last week I asked the question on fuel security and had two meetings with the two main Liberal protagonists. And the banking enquiry would not be there without my resolution in the Parliament.

The Hughenden project, HIPCO, (Hughenden Irrigation Project Corporation) thanks to cleverness, we’ve used fuel security to put HIPCO into the hands of Federal not the Qld (anti-development, anti-job, gang-Green government).  

Irrigation in Cloncurry sparks off a local Quartering Works with farms, some 400 permanent jobs.

I had a very good working relationship with Peta Credlin and strongly supported Tony Abbott into the PM job, I hope this had much to do with the $5000M NAIF fund. 

Most certainly Credlin has attacked the non-use of those funds after five and a half years.

I all but sacrificed my seat in Parliament when I triggered Prime Minister Julia Gillard sacking, this was to put Rudd back in as PM. 

Within two or three weeks, he was in Indonesia, two weeks after that – the market was all but opened; then fully opened. The price for cattle doubled and our action was rewarded.

Kennedy’s other industry (outside of mining) is the banana industry, it only exists today because of the work done by Dick Pratt, Robert Mackay and myself.

One thing I have not done maybe, is tell the Editor of the paper all these things. Nevertheless, this paper chose not to put myself and the Indonesia Ambassador meeting in his newspaper, however “The Australian” did, on its front page.

The NW Star, were one of the only newspapers out of some 16 inside Kennedy that refused to give us a post-budget interview, then attacked us. Whilst this outlines achievements, I could a similar piece on my failures. But I take heart that Strzelecki did not live to see the Snowy built, Curtin did not live to see victory in the Pacific, nor did Theodore live to see us work our way out of the Depression. 

Editor’s Note: Mr Katter has made a number of points which I’ll address in due course. However I do owe Bob and his office an apology on one matter. They did ring my office for comment on budget day, but I missed that message. It was not a deliberate snub, but a mistake on my part – Derek Barry