The rank hypocrisy of the Palaszczuk Government was on full display in State Parliament last night, with Labor voting against progressing the Tully Millstream project – a major renewable energy generation opportunity in North Queensland.
LNP Shadow Minister for Northern Development, Andrew Cripps, who was denied an opportunity to speak during the debate by Labor and the Katter Party, said the Palaszczuk Government opposed economic development in North Queensland.
Mr Cripps said it was no secret he was a strong advocate for updating the feasibility study for the Tully Millstream project – which was last undertaken in the late 1980s – and had recently written to the Federal LNP Government seeking its support.
“The LNP supported the Katter Party’s motion, because the only alternative was to vote against it – and unlike Labor, that is not consistent with our policy to support economic development opportunities in North Queensland” said Mr Cripps.
“Curtis Pitt’s claim – that the LNP have committed billions to an unviable project – is ridiculous, especially given the Palaszczuk Government has committed extraordinary amounts of taxpayers’ money to an arbitrary renewable energy target” he said.
“Both Labor and the Katter Party refused to allow me to speak on the motion last night, so the debate swung between green scaremongering and populist chest-beating – it’s a shame the parliament didn’t take the opportunity to debate the issue properly”.
“Almost three decades after the Tully Millstream project was studied seriously, many parameters have changed and it makes sense for the feasibility study to be updated, so it can be considered on its merits and not passed over for another 30 years”.
Mr Cripps said Labor speakers to the motion make a series of unsubstantiated claims about the potential environmental impact of the Tully Millstream project and failed to produce any evidence to support their statements about its alleged cost.
“The motion succeeded last night because the LNP supported it, but the Katter Party must take responsibility for stubbornly refusing to give the Tully Millstream project the best chance of becoming a reality, by getting the feasibility study updated”.
“Shane Knuth is obsessed with counting up the number of times he’s mentioned the Tully Millstream project in parliament – as if repeating himself is an achievement – but all his political opportunism won’t make it happen if we get the process wrong”.
Mr Cripps said he had waited a long time for the right moment to put the Tully Millstream project back on the agenda and he was disappointed Labor and the Katter Party had bungled the opportunity to progress the renewable energy project.