Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) has cut a deal with the Palaszczuk Labor Government that is set to hurt licenced premises and potentially cost jobs in Townsville and Cairns.
Member for Hinchinbrook, Andrew Cripps and Member for Burdekin, Dale Last said the Katters now shared responsibility for the decision of the Palaszczuk Labor Government to introduce lock outs in North Queensland.
“This policy is one of the few ideas Labor has had after twelve months in office and now Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter and Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth have cut a deal to deliver it to them – effectively keeping the Palaszczuk Government in power,” Mr Last said.
“From the message the parliamentary committee investigating this proposal heard in Cairns and Townsville, I don’t think the tourism industry, or the hospitality industry in North Queensland will be impressed with the deal Mr Katter and Mr Knuth have done with Labor.”
Mr Last said reduced trading hours and an earlier lock out would not magically address the problem of alcohol fuelled violence and instead, endorsed the comprehensive and holistic approach within the former LNP Government’s Safe Night Out strategy.
Mr Cripps questioned what KAP had actually achieved by caving in to the Palaszczuk Government and cutting a deal with Labor to pass the new laws, despite North Queensland communities speaking out so strongly against them.
“When you look at the Katter/Labor deal, it’s hard to see what they have specifically secured for North Queensland, other than two government committee meetings – one in Charters Towers and one in Mount Isa,” Mr Cripps said.
“After indicating for weeks that they wouldn’t support Labor’s earlier lock outs and reduced trading hours, the Katter Party has back flipped – delivering North Queensland two committee meetings and preserving the Palaszczuk Government in office.”
Mr Cripps said communities across North Queensland needed to understand how significant the Katter/Labor deal to pass the new laws was to keeping the Palaszczuk Government in office.
“Labor placed enormous importance on the earlier lock outs and reduced trading hours as a platform of the Palaszczuk Government – it was willing to risk its reputation on them passing,” he said.
Mr Last said there was no doubt the Katter Party understood by voting with Labor, they had strongly indicated a preference for the Palaszczuk Government to remain in office in Queensland.
“Despite Cairns and Townsville clearly indicating that North Queensland don’t want these laws, the Katter/Labor deal will impose them on us and keep the Palaszczuk Government in power”.