Population growth the way to reverse services decline in western Qld

Mar 16, 2022

Population growth the way to reverse services decline in western Qld

Mar 16, 2022

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, says the only way to reverse the decline of services in western Qld (including banks, insurance, doctors, and telecommunications) is to increase population through irrigation projects and ensuring miners live in the towns where they work. 

Mr Katter said he has been in discussions with major mining operators in the North West Minerals Province (Cloncurry and Mount Isa) for the provision of housing.

“If 400 one-hectare blocks were released in Cloncurry, not only would it provide a stable workforce, but it would also give us a much more livable community,” Mr Katter said.

“The provision of 1,000 similar blocks in Mount Isa would not be unreasonable. Housing can be provided for through a $150 per/week salary sacrifice, and $150 from the mining companies.

“Since the introduction of FIFO mining, Mount Isa has gone from 30,000 people down to 18,000 people.

“I sit under the pictures of two of the greatest men in Australian political history, Red Ted Theodore and Black Jack McEwen.

“McEwen said, if we do not occupy this great treasure which is Australia then I fear it shall be taken from us.”

Mr Katter said the second way to populate inland Australia was through irrigation schemes where the land would be balloted out to owner-occupier farmers.

“We don’t want ‘Cotton Kings’ and ‘Grain Barons’ flying in and out of our towns in their Learjets, we want locals on these irrigation farms,” he said.

“I received a promise of $180m from the Prime Minister in late 2018 for the Hughenden dam and irrigation project (HIPCo), to increase the population of the town with cattle fattening farms which will lead to a quartering works and leather tannery.

“The Hughenden model can be repeated through the Mid-West towns (Julia Creek, Richmond, Cloncurry) and in the Gulf towns.”