Deputy Prime Minister and acting PM this week Michael McCormack continues to echo US politics after pledging to "make Charters Towers great again" during a fly-in visit to the North.
Barely a day after his "all lives matter" gaffe, embracing a slogan used by white supremacists and the far right, Mr McCormack was at it again, reaffirming the federal government's commitment to Big Rocks Weir using language similar to disgraced president Donald Trump whose refrain was to "make America great again".
Mr McCormack believes the same is true for Charters Towers, which had a population peak in the gold rush days of the 1870s.
He shared Mayor Frank Beveridge's vision for similar population growth in the region in the coming years but now banking agriculture not mining.
"We can do it by just adding water, you add water you grow agriculture," Mr McCormack said.
In October Charters Towers Regional Council started work on Big Rocks Weir with $3 million in state funds for pre-construction activities.
The 10,000 megalitre weir on the Burdekin River, 25km north of Charters Towers, would support 5000 hectares of high value agriculture, including avocados, macadamias and citrus.
Mr McCormack said with the state government committing to match the $30 million of federal government money on the table for Big Rocks Weir, it was time to get on with the job and he had spoken with Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher.
"We're going to build water infrastructure, we're going to make sure that agriculture can lead to this deal... so that we can have an abattoir, not just 100 kilometres away, but here in Charters Towers," he said.
"There is no reason we can't make Charters Towers great again."
Meanwhile Kennedy MP Bob Katter says the Labor State Government has broken an election promise as it will not sign a contract for the construction of the Weir, near Charters Towers, but it will sign a contract for further studies he says burn up millions of taxpayers' dollars.
"I am seriously asking if the new Minister, Mr Butcher, has rocks in his head?" Mr Katter said.
"Does he seriously think the people of North Queensland are going to take this? Take this broken promise just months into the new Government term?
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