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Katter campaigns for virus-free north to win major projects


The Federal Government has been called on to use the coronavirus-driven economic downturn as an opportunity to boost jobs in Australia’s north.

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Independent MP Bob Katter will be in Canberra this week for a sitting of parliament, where he will lobby for public spending on major projects.

Katter’s home region of north Queensland has largely been free of COVID-19, which he said made it perfect to be at the centre of economic recovery.

He said there were three projects in the region that could drive about $30 billion in economic activity with the right approach from government and industry – a northwest Queensland electricity transmission line, the Hells Gate Dam and a rail line to serve mines in the Galilee Basin.

It could also be useful to quarantine the region from people flying in from other parts of the country, or limit the number of trips made by fly-in fly-out workers to once every two months.

“These are shovel-ready, make-money projects – not absorbed-money projects like football stadiums and roads in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne,” he told AAP.

“They will be feeding back tax revenue on a massive scale.”

Katter is also concerned health and economic problems in remote Indigenous communities are being worsened by the coronavirus restrictions.

He said travel rules should be loosened to allow indigenous people to access shopping and health services.

As well, funds should be provided for community-based market gardens.


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