Australia: Bob Katter pledges Coalition support in return for big bucks to flow for north Queensland irrigation schemes - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaBob Katter pledges Coalition support in return for big bucks to flow for north Queensland irrigation schemes

12:06  08 november  2018
12:06  08 november  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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A historic agreement between Kennedy MP Bob Katter and the Federal Government will see funds flow for two massive irrigation projects in north In return , Mr Morrison wrote to Mr Katter seeking continued support for supply and confidence on the floor of Federal Parliament, where a recent loss

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Bob Katter pledges Coalition support in return for big bucks to flow for north Queensland irrigation schemes© ABC News/Sofie Wainwright MP Bob Katter with a hat in one hand and a letter promising funds from the Prime Minister in the other. A historic agreement between Kennedy MP Bob Katter and the Federal Government will see funds flow for two massive irrigation projects in north Queensland's interior.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised $180 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme on the Flinders River, Queensland's longest.

A further $54 million will be spent on building Big Rocks Weir on the Burdekin River near Charters Towers in the first step of the massive Hells Gates Dam proposal.

In return, Mr Morrison wrote to Mr Katter seeking continued support for supply and confidence on the floor of Federal Parliament, where a recent loss in the Wentworth by-election has left the Morrison Government without a clear majority.

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Maverick Kennedy MP Bob Katter has leveraged support from the Morrison Government for huge irrigation schemes in his electorate. Despite teething problems , Queensland ' s cash for containers scheme is up and running. Queensland ' s 10 cent per container recycling scheme has started with

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Mr Katter said the project will invigorate the economy of north Queensland.

"We've suffered the ravages of drought. For the first time, we've got a Government moving," he said.

"[Hells Gates Dam] is a project with 20,000 jobs to north Queensland's economy. It'll supply Townsville with the most adequate and cheapest water supply of any city in Australia."

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Maverick Kennedy MP Bob Katter has leveraged support from the Morrison Government for huge irrigation schemes in his electorate. But not all agree with need to cull the animals or Mr Slatter's method of killing the feral cats using a bow and arrow. 'The cat is injured and not killed, and obviously

Robert Carl Katter (born 22 May 1945) is an Australian politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1993. He was previously active in state politics from 1974 to 1992. Katter was a member of the National Party until 2001, when he left to sit as an independent.

Mr Katter said the potential for the completed project to supply water, power and bio-energy was enormous.

"It will produce almost all of north Queensland's electricity and 70 per cent of Australia's petrol needs, with zero emissions," he said.

"There is only one weapon against drought, and that is your ability to grow grass," Mr Katter said.

"The water is there, give us the tools, and we'll give you the grass. If you give us the grass, then there are no more droughts."

Doubts raised

But Townsville-based Senator Ian McDonald warned the money for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme was conditional on the project meeting certain conditions.

"It's got a long way to go before any money goes towards that," he said.

"It has to get some sort of feasibility study, it has to have a business case, it has to, of course, get Queensland Government approval.

"And I can tell you for 20 years we've been trying to get some form of water storage along the Flinders River from Labor governments in Queensland.

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"When I see the concrete getting poured I'll believe it. But until then I'll take it as something being done for political expediency at the time."

Senator McDonald was more optimistic about the Big Rocks Weir, planned for upstream of the present Burdekin Falls Dam.

"It's a do-able project, again it requires, of course, approval of the owners of the river, which as I always point out are the Queensland Government," Senator McDonald said.

Project welcomed

Small-scale cropping has been practiced along the Flinders River near the towns of Hughenden and Richmond before, with sorghum and fodder the main products.

Chairman of the Hughenden Irrigation Corporation, Shane McCarthy, said enhancing that production through the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme has been a dream since 1985.

"[$180 million] will go a long way to building a large water storage facility to the north of the town for irrigation," he said.

"I'm guessing the community will be over the moon. I don't think we've ever had a project this big get approved for the north-west, let alone Flinders Shire."

Mr McCarthy said the scheme would allow the drought-stricken community to prepare for dry conditions by attracting additional industries to town.

"It'll go a long way to growing some hay so that we can feed some cattle, or even finish some cattle, and helping a meatworks that's proposed for the area as well," he said.

Mr McCarthy said a best-case scenario would see the project underway within three to four years.

"I'd like it happen tomorrow but these things don't happen overnight. As soon as possible, I'm hoping," he said.

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