Knuthand Katter lashes out at State Government lunacy

Sep 15, 2023

State Member for Hill Shane Knuth has blasted the State Government for not backing the manufacturing industry outside of the southeast corner after a funding application for KoolPak was denied by the State Government Industry Partnership Program (IPP). 


KoolPak was designed by Innisfail local Tom Long for the ‘circular economy,’ providing a reusable, recyclable, flat packable, leakproof and traceable packing system for temperature-sensitive products. 


Mr Knuth said KoolPak would replace environmentally unfriendly polystyrene containers, estimated at over 1 billion boxes used worldwide each year. 


“Its uses are limitless, and the interest has been overwhelming towards the product. There is a huge market for KoolPak, and the owners want the plant and business to be based in Innisfail,” Mr Knuth said. 


“However, the State Government’s IPP program knocked back the $10m funding proposal, which would have delivered a manufacturing plant based in Innisfail, creating 159 direct local jobs during the construction phase and 186 ongoing operational jobs.” 


Mr Knuth said it was a bitter pill to swallow after the Premier stated this week:  “We know that we have the world’s best manufacturers right here in Queensland. With our support, the manufacturing sector has gone from strength to strength, and I want to see Made in Queensland stamped on more products because that means more jobs for more Queenslanders.”  


“Obviously the Premier didn’t get the memo on this project, which would have added $73 million in direct output and $24 million in industry value, annually,” said Mr Knuth


“Queenslanders see hundreds of millions in cost blowouts on projects in the southeast corner and billions invested into wasteful Olympic expenditure, yet the government can’t fork out $10M for an innovative manufacturing hub that could change the way temperature sensitive food is stored and transported across the world?” 


“This decision is pure lunacy and again tells regional Queenslanders that they don’t matter, unless they live in the southeast corner.” 


He said the project was supported by the local council and the local community along with Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter. 


Mr Katter said he backed the KoolPak project and would continue to advocate strongly with the Fedderal Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) whose response has been positive to date. 

“The Queensland Government must be the most anti-development government in Queensland history,” Mr Katter said. 

“They haven’t built a significant single thing outside of the Brisbane southeast corner to my knowledge. 

“It is clear they have no intention of investing in the north which is the powerhouse of the Queensland economy. 

“Instead, they are more interested in appeasing the entitled latte-sippers by building a useless $30 million cassowary crossing which the cassowaries aren’t even using!

“That $30m could have instead been directed to a money-making project like KoolPak. 

“But you’d expect that from a government completely devoid of any intellect.”


Mr Knuth said the project was in significant danger of packing up and basing itself overseas because of the decision by the State Government. 


“Places like Thailand are more than happy to welcome KoolPak and invest in the technology, so congratulations to the State Government on possibly driving another Australian business overseas.”