KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter is relieved the Mission Beach Clump Point “breakwater” will be constructed and the alternative proposal has been scrapped.
Mr Katter has been supporting the community’s fight for the development for over 30 years.
“I give thanks to the people who have fought for this for an unbelievable 30 years. The late Helen Wiltshire and her brother James Mort, Tony Lee (probably the most strident voice) Peter Dore, Ken Fox, Robert Mackay, Les Blennerhassett, Annette Treseder, Richard Giuliany. I deeply apologise to the many people whose names are too numerous for me to list here.
For people to have kept the faith and to have kept battling at this for 30 years…. Power to you. All that you see in North Qld today is built by people like you.
I’ve been actively involved in politics for 45 years and I’ve never seen a group that has stayed the distance like this. Sadly only two of the original group (Tony Lee and Myself) are still with us today. It should be an inspiration to others that if you are right, no matter how many obstacles you endure, you keep on.”
But Mr Katter will not forget the ugly politics that has clouded the proposal:
“I do not hesitate to show my anger and disgust at members of the old Cassowary Coast Council and the State Member of Parliament (ex-Minister).
The Federal Government’s $5.5 million has been sitting there now for four or five years. The State Government doubled the figure two weeks after my announcement. But the State Government’s $11 million has also been sitting there for four or five years when the local Member was arguably the relevant Minister (the decision maker).
I single out Allister Pike. Allister had his own business interests and he didn’t make any secret of his position and the stand that he took was against us. But he was open and honest and that’s more than I can say for the other people and their cowardly bushwhacking of the people in Mission Beach who are working so hard to try and better their community. I’d love to bring out the details of exactly what occurred and the nasty, despicable nature of what transpired behind the scenes but I’ll leave it at that.”
Mr Katter describes Mission Beach as “one of the most beautiful tourist destinations on earth”. But the community has experienced economic hardship in recent years:
“We lost 120 jobs at Dunk Island, Bedarra Island went into a very low operation and 23 businesses closed in Mission Beach.”
Mr Katter believes the breakwater will be key to the economic survival of the town:
“It will provide safe anchorage for 70 or 80 boats with all weather, dry-foot access. Economists believe $100,000 per boat will be injected into the local economy.
I received a letter from Castaways Resort, Dunk Island Resort and Bedarra Island Resort. If these tourist operators can go ahead with their proposals which are contingent upon proper boating access then you’re looking at millions being injected into the economy each and every year from now on.”