"I took a decision to really take a good look at how northern Australia is going."
Those were the words from Australian Labor Senator Murray Watts, who is chairing an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Australian government's northern Australia agenda.
The inquiry began as Senator Murray Watts believes the White Paper process for northern Australia from 2014 has failed to delivery on its promises.
The second leg of the Australia-wide inquiry was held in Mount Isa on Thursday, October 10.
This comes at the same time as Mount Isa is a major economical contributor of around $1 billion to state and federal treasuries and yet faces a multitude of problems from airfares, water rates and power grids to name a few.
Senator Murray said the feedback he was getting from all areas was that people were really excited about Tony Abbott's northern Australia development plan four years ago, but now they feel disappointed.
"Hopefully this inquiry can give recommendations into how we can solve the issues we are hearing about today," Senator Murray said.
Senator Murray addressed the issue of not being heard.
"This is our second leg here in Mount Isa and what I am hearing is that north-west Queensland is being neglected by the government. I think the further you get away from the coast the more people seem to be ignored or forgotten about," Senator Murray said.
Senator Murray said they have identified there were still great jobs and industries in the north-west, especially the role mining for minerals plays in the technology field, but also want to see what is working and what can be expanded.
When questioned on previous disappointment from the airfares inquiry, Senator Murray said he was optimistic this time around.
"I can understand people can be pessimistic towards inquiries as the last one that focused on regional airfares left a lot of people frustrated," he said.
"I'm still hopeful the government will listen to the recommendations from that inquiry as we fully understand that expensive flights are not good for Mount Isa locals and businesses."
Senator Murray said the inquiry was a long process as they head across all of northern Australia, but they were still giving the government recommendations as they moved along.
Senator Murray also raised some focus points which were boosting the tourism industry in northern Australia and also the push for renewable energy.
"We are also searching for strategies to aid the agriculture industry and also the Aboriginal population," he said.
When questioned on Liberals' efforts on their White Paper process he highlighted figures.
"They have spent less than $50 million which is not good enough," he said.
"There's a $5 billion fund waiting there but nothing has really been spent in developing northern Australia, the Liberals are often good at making promises but not delivering on them."
Senator Murray finished by saying overall he hopes each senator receives a better understanding of which industries have real potential in northern Australia.
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