Kemp­ton hits back at crit­ics

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

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

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