Kempton hits back at critics
DAVID Kempton, Member for Cook, has slammed claims by The Wilderness Society that the reported outcomes from his forum on the draft Cape York regional plan were "misrepresented."
‘‘I am very disappointed TWS has tried to derail the recommendations that came out of the forum,’’ he said.
‘‘ Allegations the forum was stacked against the environment and the outcomes misrepresented are utter nonsense and an in insult to the 150 plus people who took part on the day.’’
Mr Kempton said representatives from TWS attended the forum and actively participated in formulating the outcomes.
‘‘They claim indigenous groups have not been consulted.
‘‘I am confident the department has been very thorough in its engagement process and the indigenous councils are well represented on the Deputy Premier’s working group.
‘‘TWS do not represent the indigenous people of Cape York and they are just scaremongering because the call for balance by the Cape people does not sit with their view of the world.’’
Mr Kempton said no Cape York landscape was under immediate threat and the plan would ‘‘get the balance right.’’
‘‘Wild Rivers couldn’t have been more divisive, whereas the final Cape York Regional Plan will have broad scale community support,’’ he said.
‘‘All TWS have to offer is more National Parks.’’
Mr Kempton said while he believed the landscape needed to be protected the scope of the conservation economy only offers limited opportunities.
‘‘I want to see Cape York investing in the real economy not relying on handouts,’’ he said.
‘‘I have said it before and I will say it again, my forum was a huge success, now it is important everyone in the Cape put in individual submission by the March 25 deadline.
‘‘In essence miners want to know that their mining tenements are secured, indigenous communities want to know the economic potential of their lands will not be locked up in national parks and pastoralists want to know they can plan well into the future without their properties being hamstrung by wild rivers and other totally inappropriate environmental schemes,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Cape York Sustainable Futures (CYSF) has welcomed the announcement of a $210 million Cape York Regional Package.
CYSF says the recent announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, and Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, shows the Commonwealth’s commit- ment to the communities’ in Cape York for new improved roads and infrastructure.
‘‘This package is long overdue and we applaud the Government for launching it. Through our extensive community network CYSF is very keen to assist the Commonwealth in seeking advice from the local communities on how the package can best be spent,
‘‘The funding spent in its most appropriate form will see improved accessibility to Cape York for the local community and produce long term flow-on benefits to local industry and businesses. It is pivotal for the future of the Cape,’’ said CYSF chief executive, Trish Butler.
The announcement very much mirrors the CYSF initiative launched in 2012 ‘‘A Bitumen Road to Weipa by 2020’’ and provides CYSF with further impetus to continue lobbying the State for a similar commitment.
‘‘CYSF fully supports the Coalition’s development of a Northern Australia policy, in the hope that it can sustainably unlock its massive potential. Improved infrastructure throughout the region will have broad benefits, but more particularly to the cattle and agriculture industries with improved access to markets as well as improved access for tourists,’’ said Mrs Butler.
Remote Queensland councils are set to receive a share in more than $8.9 million over the next two years under the Regional Aviation Access Program for infrastructure upgrades to council maintained airstrips. Aurukun, Blackall-Tambo, Charters Towers, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Longreach, Mount Isa, Murweh and Woorabinda councils will receive varying amounts of funding for essential safety and access upgrades. Thirty-nine remote airstrips across Australia will share in the funding.
DISAPPOINTED: Cook MP David Kempton