The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is a farcical “woke” $15bn bureaucratic junket: Katter

Mar 9, 2023

The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is a farcical “woke” $15bn bureaucratic junket: Katter

Mar 9, 2023

THE National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) has become a farcical “woke” and “leftist” run $15bn bureaucratic junket, more concerned with inclusivism and appeasing minority groups than genuinely delivering nation-building projects.

Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter slammed the hijacking of this visionary proposal which he described as a $15bn taxpayer-funded, “watered down slush fund.”

Although, Mr Katter had initially supported the NRF as the legislation’s language posed promising signs towards sovereign-owned nation-building projects, industries and infrastructure.

And to ensure remote, rural and regional areas were not omitted from the funding, Mr Katter attempted to lobby the government to agree to his detailed amendments which would modify the legislation so these areas would be considered a priority, and to ensure a member of the fund’s board represented the interests of those regions outside the cities.

These amendments were opposed.

In a twisted turn of events, amendments moved to appease the “woke-left” by encouraging board participation for historically underrepresented groups, as well as prohibiting the NRF from investing in projects involving coal or natural gas were accepted.

He said he feared critical projects addressing the soaring cost of living and securing Australia’s economic future would no longer be supported.

“I started as a very enthusiastic supporter of the bill, and I have very great respect for the Minister for Industry and Science,” Mr Katter said.

“But whether he’s been forced to, or whatever the case may be, the bill has been watered down, and watered down, and watered down. And if you put enough acid in a basic solution, it will then become an acidic solution.

“And that’s what has happened here, the bill has shifted from a promotion of industry to serving the interests of minority groups and to serve the interests of the anti-coal brigade.

“I agree we need to restrain the exponential growth in CO2. I do not agree on abolishing coal. Let me point out that we have only three exports: iron ore, coal and gas. If you take away coal, you bankrupt this country. Start picking out the hospitals that you’re going to close—just pick them out—because there’s no money.

“I fear that this money will go where it shouldn’t be going.”

Mr Katter said it should be noted the Minister for Industry and Science had agreed to minority representation.

“You and I both know the biggest minority in Australia is the people that don’t live in the big cities. What I want is that minority to be represented.

“It seems the Government has no interest genuine prosperity for all Australians and is instead preoccupied with its inclusivism mantra.

“I remind you, a preoccupation with inclusivism will result in the exclusion of public interest. So the people of Australia and their interests will be sacrificed while you’re pursuing some social objective.”

Mr Katter said without government investment into money-making projects, diminishing towns in regional Australia would continue to falter despite the potential economic prosperity they presented with their resources.

“Assign the right people on the board who will deliver the Hughenden Irrigation Project (HIPCo), who will deliver the operation of vanadium mines at Richmond and Julia Creek, nickel cobalt processing at Townsville, eco-carton manufacturing at Innisfail, turn woody weeds into diesel at Hughenden, and will deliver the Revised Bradfield Scheme.

Although the Opposition conceded and accepted the bill with amendments, and opted to debate the legislation in the senate, Mr Katter said: “I’m sad to say that a bill which I started out with great enthusiasm for, will now serve the interests of minority groups, it’s got nothing to do with development, it’s been corrupted to a point where it’ll fail to achieve its objectives, and I with sad regret say I will be opposing the bill.”