Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Statements by Members
Bob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
As we talk, most of the north-west corner of Queensland is underwater. I flew nearly 200 kilometres in a helicopter, and I never saw any ground underneath the helicopter for the entire distance. If ever there were an argument for a separate state—I don't know of a million people anywhere in the world that are ruled by a government over 1,000 kilometres away or 2,000 kilometres away. Nowhere in the world does that exist. But when you are a small, isolated rural community, you're forgotten because of that. When you are predominantly blackfella not whitefella, you're forgotten because of that. When you are so far from Brisbane, you are forgotten because of that.
The bridges are too low and they go under water all the time, the roads are too low and they go under water all the time, so there's little replenishment of supplies. They have now been cut off. The town of Doomadgee has been cut off, over 2,000 people, along with Burketown, probably climbing up close to 3,000 people, and they have been cut off for three months. Imagine your supermarket not having anything go into it for three months, except some emergency supplies on an aeroplane. We don't want you to fix up the bridges. We want you to build a proper bridge. I can pay tribute to Anthony Albanese because the access to North West Queensland was increased by two weeks thanks to him building a bridge across the Einasleigh River during the big floods in that year. (Time expired)