STATE BUD­GET FOR­GOT THE NEEDS OF FNQ

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

The State Bud­get de­liv­ered by Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt has pro­vided lit­tle for the Far North.

The ALP found $2bil­lion for a cross river rail project in Bris­bane.

A part of that could have been utilised for re-rout­ing the Ku­randa Range Road or a tun­nel pro­vid­ing jobs for sev­eral years.

No funds have been pro­vided for ur­gently needed, in­creased wa­ter stor­age to give ir­ri­ga­tion farm­ers a guar­an­tee of ac­tu­ally har­vest­ing a crop. From July 1, Ti­na­roo Dam users will face a cut of 60 per cent to their al­lo­ca­tions.

No fund­ing was an­nounced even for a fea­si­bil­ity study to build new dams in the

Cook elec­torate. The wa­ter mora­to­rium put in place by the La­bor Gov­ern­ment re­mains in place from Lake­land north while ba­nana farm­ers strug­gle to keep crops alive.

Build­ing the North John­ston River di­ver­sion chan­nel to pro­vide an ur­gent top up for Ti­na­roo Dam has been ig­nored.

Rob­bie Kat­ter and Shane Knuth thought the LNP might find some back­bone and sup­port the north by vot­ing against the bud­get un­less jobs and in­fra­struc­ture out­comes were de­liv­ered.

They didn’t and we now face another year or more of strug­gling against 7 per

cent in­creases to elec­tric­ity bills. The Gov­ern­ment con­trols 80 per cent of power gen­er­a­tion and 100 per cent of re­tail­ing, so prices could be low­ered in­stead they use it as a hid­den tax on con­sumers.

The high cost of elec­tric­ity is forc­ing busi­nesses and man­u­fac­tur­ing out of busi­ness.

Er­gon had a long list of house­hold­ers who have been un­able to pay their bills on time at the ex­ist­ing rate. How does this mind­less gov­ern­ment think they can pay the in­crease?

I have heard farm­ers say they will re­vert to diesel gen­er­a­tion for wa­ter

pumps and even their house­holds.

A ra­dio sta­tion now will have to en­dure an an­nual power bill of $120,000 and an en­gi­neer­ing works is go­ing to cop a monthly bill of $10,000.

The RSL club, lo­cal ho­tels and busi­nesses will be crip­pled by the ex­tra cost of power for lights and re­frig­er­a­tion, and how farm­ers with large cold stor­age units will sur­vive is any­body’s guess.

It is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial the north gets lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives elected at the next State elec­tion. Say good­bye to the big par­ties for your sur­vival.

Gor­don Ras­mussen, KAP can­di­date for Cook

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