5 OCTOBER 2017: I am publishing (in North Queensland newspapers) an open letter to the Head of Current Affairs at the ABC. Monday's attack on jobs with a program called "Digging into Adani" demonstrated beyond doubt the national broadcaster is overly influenced by the extreme green movement.
TODAY’S announcement of an additional $37.6 million in Federal Government disaster relief funding to repair critical infrastructure and damaged beach and river frontages is a victory for the battered communities of Mackay and the Whitsundays. I took up the fight, along with local mayors Andrew Willcox and Greg Williamson, for a fairer funding distribution under Category D of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) which now totalled more than $96 million. The important thing to focus on today is that there’s an extra $15.2 million to restore the Shute Harbour Marina and get this business and tourism hub back up to speed.
THE introduction of more superyacht anchorages in the Whitsundays, to take effect from today, is a welcome step on an issue I have lobbied for extensively over the past two years. I was very pleased to hear the announcement from Federal Minister for the Environment Josh Frydenberg that amendments to the Whitsundays Plan of Management have been finalised, opening the way for 21 new superyacht anchorages in this world-class tourist destination. I have met with superyacht industry representatives on numerous occasions in the past two years and discussed the case for change with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) as well as the current and former Environment Minister. One superyacht spending a week in port has the potential to inject $50,000 into the local economy and support a number of small businesses. When we see places like Noumea hosting 200 visits a year of a week or more each, we can appreciate the potential for the Whitsundays.
13 JULY 2017: The Federal Government’s axing of the Green Army was a disastrous decision for North Queensland. I'm not going to play the government’s line on the Green Army program, which will cease on June 30 next year, because, frankly, I was ticked off when the government announced the Green Army was axed.
3 JUNE 2017: Would you believe that the activist group at the heart of much of the attack against the Adani Carmichael Coal Project - GetUp! - paid out $4.6 million to their staff last year? That's effectively $4.6 million going into the pockets of inner city green zealots who want to ensure that no money goes into the pockets of workers in this region who are desperate for jobs.