Why Albo owes North Queensland $5bn in job-creating projects

Oct 20, 2022

Why Albo owes North Queensland $5bn in job-creating projects

Oct 20, 2022

KENNEDY MP Bob Katter says the Prime Minister owes North Queensland its share of job-creating projects after news reports claimed Hells Gate was scrapped from the budget, and subsequently, $6bn was announced for electricity projects in Victoria.   

While Mr Katter had been a critic of the revised lower-level Hells Gate Dam proposal which the former government had committed funding to, he said the region had a shovel-ready project in the CopperString 2.0 transmission line network waiting to power the North’s mineral province.   

“I am hoping and praying that if Anthony Albanese can find ($6bn) for alternative energy sources in Victoria, that he can find $5bn to now do projects in North Queensland,” Mr Katter said.   

“We’d need about $3bn to do Hells Gate properly. And $5bn could save so many problems – CopperString would be a third built.   

“Now he has the opportunity to do wonderful things with the money the last government claims they had committed, but it seems that the PM has mixed up the postcodes and given the money to Richmond in Victoria instead of Vanadium rich, Richmond in North West Queensland.”  

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had on multiple occasions stated her government was “committed” to CopperString, and had requested federal funding.   

Asked if the Prime Minister should be looking to strike a deal with the Queensland Government to expedite the construction of Copper String, Mr Katter said: “I think he’d be doing a lot bigger job for himself if he was creating something that would provide jobs for the people.”  

However, Mr Katter said ultimately, the State Government still needed to pass legislation to commence construction of the transmission network.   

“The mining royalties coming out of the North West mineral province I would think would be in the vicinity of about $1bn-$2bn a year. The whole state budget is $50bn, we’re talking 5 per cent of the state budget they’re going to lose, unless they put CopperString in and they haven’t even gotten off their backside to put in the enabling legislation.   

“To have no grid-system power going into the interior of Australia, three-quarters the surface area of the continent… what are you there for, if you’re not there to supply water, if you’re not there to supply electricity, you’re not there to supply roads, well what the hell are you there for?   

“Why are we wasting this money on having a government?”