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Monday, May 27, 2024

Katter slams funding decisions

KATTER’S Australian Party MP Bob Katter has questioned the common-sense behind a decision to cut Federal funding for major income-generating roads in North Queensland.

Mr Katter said he was confused as to why crucial roads in North Queensland that provide economic benefits to the state were being overlooked for a wildlife crossing on the Bruce Highway that has blown out by millions of dollars.

The Federal Infrastructure Minister this week released the government’s “90-day” review of the Infrastructure Investment Program.

The announcement featured the axing of several Queensland projects, including funding to upgrade the Tennant Creek (Northern Territory) to Townsville corridor. 

“The corridor from Tenant Creek to Townsville is absolutely critical for beef, and also, for the expansion of the North West Minerals Province which will serve the ALP governments with their critical minerals for their climate ambitions,” Mr Katter said.

“The beef industry is one of the largest export industries, one of Australia’s biggest export-earning items. 

“So money being taken away from this corridor, when it’s already falling to pieces, is just putting under threat the major exports of this country.”

Mr Katter said the announcement was an absolute slap in the face to North Queenslanders who instead had to witness the construction of a cassowary crossing over the Bruce Hwy, just north of Tully. 

The project, now years overdue and blown out from $12m to $30m, attempts to provide passage to the flightless birds to cross the major road, however has come under fire for its costs and practicality. 

“I have never seen anything like this, and even if it was cost-effective, look at the design, on the eastern end of this bridge – it’s just a cliff straight onto the main Queensland railway line,” Mr Katter said.

“Seriously how do they imagine this bridge to function, then again asking government how anything functions would be a waste of time.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Dametto congratulates graduates and Mayor Manning steps down.

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