House debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Constituency Statements

Queensland: Tourism Industry

10:11 am

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Ten years ago we had Cyclone Yasi. It was a very bad cyclone, but it was nothing compared to Cyclone Larry, which came before it. It was a disastrous cyclone 10 years ago. In the 10 years since, Dunk Island, the biggest tourist resort in North Queensland, employing some 200 people throughout the tourism season, has been closed down. Elandra, the next biggest resort, which employed nearly 100 people, is also still closed down. This is devastating for Mission Beach. Mission Beach has a 30- to 40-metre-wide white-sand beach and sea islands. Behind it is dense jungle. Cassowaries are regularly seen on the beach. Helen Wiltshire, one of the four top artists in Australia, lives there. Helen Mirren made her name running along the beach without any clothes on in the first movie of its type. Diane Cilento, Academy Award winner and a former wife of James Bond actor Sean Connery, lived there. A Prime Minister of Australia had his winter home there; his wife, Zara Holt, lived there.

All these famous people went there because it is the most beautiful place on earth. You have waterfalls. You have jungle. It is not rainforest—we call it scrub—but serious jungle. You have cassowaries walking along the beach. You have the ocean. You have the islands. You have everything there. And the two resorts that realised this great thing are closed down. Hinchinbrook Island was the great dream of Keith Williams. He was the greatest tourism developer in Australia's history by a long way. The Gold Coast was made by Les Thiess and Keith Williams—and maybe Bruce Moore. There are now one million people living on the Gold Coast. Keith Williams chose to go to Cardwell—and it is closed. The state government says, 'It's got nothing to do with us,' the local council says, 'It's got nothing to do with us'—and they're probably right to some degree—and the federal government says, 'It's got nothing to do with us.' Well, whose responsibility is it? There are 2,000 people at Mission Beach. They have no sewerage, limited water supply and no access to the sea. Whose fault is it? The penguins of Antarctica? Maybe it's their fault! Dunk Island— (Time expired)