BRISBANE 16 March 2012. Bob Katter reminded the media today of their social obligation to ensure the public were fully informed about the policies of all parties ahead of next weekend's Queensland poll. Mr Katter said "I accept that reporting on Campbell Newman's support for Gay marriage was important this week but it does not relieve the media of its very great responsibility to ensure the Queensland public know exactly what the policies of all the parties are when they turn out to vote next Saturday".
The Australian Party's State Leader, Aidan McLindon and Bob Katter this week launched the party's plan for "Re-constructing Queensland".
The plan detailed the delivery of $25Billion worth of investment, 60,000 full time jobs and the creation of potentially the State's largest long-term export industry. Philosophically the Party claims it would shift the focus of governing Queensland from "selling and spending" to "building and wealth generating".
The starting point is the scrapping of the planned $8Billion Brisbane CBD light rail project and the reallocation of the funds to up-grading the Bruce Highway, the Toowoomba Range bypass, upgrading the Gateway Bridge to Nambour section of the highway to a safe 125km/h stretch of road and the construction of a new 125km/h highway linking the Sunshine Coast with the Burnett region.
Business received a massive boost with a doubling of the Payroll tax free threshold which will see 7,500 businesses across the State benefit. Government procurement policies will see Queensland taxpayers funds spent with Queensland companies on. Mr Katter said "If the Queensland government is going to build a new building the tender will specify, Queensland timber, steel, glass, bricks, cement and so on. It is completely unacceptable to have a government sending tax payer dollars to China to buy bricks and steel which we can quite competently make right here".
Rather than sell State Assets an Australian Party government plans to build them. The Party plans to invest in the clean energy corridor to open up the State's North West mineral province, construct two new carbon neutral coal fired power stations, subsidise companies to switch sugar mills to power generation and so on.
Cost of Living
Cost of living pressures were dealt with too. Initiatives were announced to bring the price of household electricity down by 7% instantly with further price drops over time, fuel prices would come down, more affordable land would be available, public transport costs fell and vehicle registrations all come in at a four cylinder rate regardless of engine size.
The State's Seniors were acknowledged receiving one stamp duty free property transaction to allow downsizing from the family home, free public transport between 9.00a.m and 2.30p.m. on weekdays and the Seniors Card would kick in for everybody at age 60 like every other State and Territory.
The Gold Coast received their cruise ship terminal, tourism operators in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park region received a fund to re-develop and re-invigorate strategic tourism facilities, outback tourism was looked after and every Queensland public servant was offered a 3 year salary sacrifice package for any holiday in the Sunshine State to help rescue the sector.
A State bank makes a comeback as does a State Government Insurance Office. Mr Katter said "He could not believe the whinging from the ALP and LNP about how poorly insurance companies treated Queenslanders after the recent floods and cyclones. These are the people that sold off the State's insurance office and now they complain that the people of Queensland are stranded like they had nothing to do with it. Bloody hypocrites."
Mining and Agricultural
Rural industries received a detailed rescue package, and traditional miners will be well pleased to hear that mining application approval times will be reduced to 12 months from the current 3-7 years. Although possibly not so pleased to learn that there will be no foreign fly in-fly out workers allowed to take Australian jobs.
Rural communities will benefit from a 20% royalties to regions program and a requirement that new mining applications commit to an agreed "local area economic development plan" aimed at ensuring the mines buy local.
Mining related trades receive a boost with 2% of royalties committed to apprenticeships in co-operation with mining companies.
Farmers beat Coal Seam Gas miners under the Australian Party's plan to allow farmers to lock the gate. A 12 month CSG moratorium would be introduced immediately and there would be no CSG mining near the Great Artesian Basin or any other underground Aquifers.
Emergency Service Queensland helicopters will be shared with the Queensland Police Service which will deliver a permanent police helicopter capability to the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville.
First Australians receive their long called for title deeds, their outstanding wages and they get to build all of their own homes with exclusively First Australian labor.
Grade 7 transition
The transition to grade 7 has been scrapped saving an estimated $1Billion dollars and untold numbers of struggling regional primary schools.
Local hospital boards are back, mothballed birthing units and operating theaters will be re-opened and Southern Cairns gets a new hospital.
Local government can't believe their luck, they get their water infrastructure returned, can de-amalgamate if it is the expressed view of the community, get rid of the State Government waste levy and councilors get back their executive powers.
There was more, but that provides a reasonable flavor for what's on offer from The Australian Party.
A very comprehensive plan to "Re-Construct Queensland".