Pledge for cane

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Aus­tralia Party’s new can­di­date for the state seat of Cook has pledged his sup­port for cane farm­ers to help de­velop the ethanol in­dus­try as one of his ma­jor elec­tion plat­forms.

Ma­reeba trans­port man­ager, ru­ral fire bri­gade vol­un­teer and rodeo an­nouncer Lach­lan Ben­sted was hand-picked by party leader Bob Kat­ter to con­test the seat of Cook against La­bor’s in­cum­bent Ja­son O’Brien and the CLP’s David Kemp­ton.

Mr Ben­sted said farm­ers were still get­ting a raw deal, in par­tic­u­lar cane grow­ers, and they should be sup­ported to help de­velop crops for ethanol which he says is a cheap form of fuel and can be pro­duced for un­der $1 a litre.

“Cane farm­ers are en­joy­ing pretty good prices for their su­gar at the mo­ment but when lean times hit they could be de­vel­op­ing ethanol crops which again is all part of sus­tain­able liv­ing,” Mr Ben­sted said.

Other key lo­cal is­sues Mr Ben­stead will fight for in the elec­tion in­clude re­de­vel­op­ing the ne­glected west wing of the Ma­reeba hos­pi­tal, build­ing a co-op­er­a­tive-owned abat­toir in Ma­reeba, con­struct­ing a dam in the Nulinga re­gion for additional water and over­turn­ing the Wild Rivers leg­is­la­tion to en­sure a proper bal­ance be­tween min­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

Asked what he would do for the peo­ple of the Dou­glas re­gion if he was elected, Mr Ben­sted said he would be “a pas­sion­ate voice for the peo­ple of the for­got­ten North”.

“I’m sick of peo­ple ask­ing me where I’m from and I have to ex­plain where that is and I’m sick of the amount of young peo­ple we keep los­ing from our re­gion and be­come lost to the cities for work,” he said.

“We need to build sus­tain­able towns and busi­nesses where we don’t rely on govern­ment grants and have our own peo­ple work­ing and stay in their own towns with their own fam­i­lies.

“We also need to build a live ex­port in­fra­struc­ture to sup­port per­ma­nent live cat­tle ex­port from Weipa and this would be a sus­tain­able in­dus­try.

“There is $124 bil­lion be­ing spent on the road/rail up­grade in Bris­bane - if we could even get a tenth of that money to spend in our Far North towns it would be bril­liant but there is no way in hell that will hap­pen with­out true rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

“My big­gest pas­sion is this area and its peo­ple and I will do every­thing pos­si­ble to see that we get our fare share of the pie should I be elected.”

The Queens­land elec­tion is due in March next year.

Lay­ing down the law: Aus­tralia Party leader Bob Kat­ter and the party’s can­di­date ffor CCook Lach­lan Ben­sted

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.