Queensland Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter.
Queensland Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter. Renee Albrecht

Budget block: Will KAP try to hold the state to ransom?

KATTER's Australian Party MPs have threatened to block Budget measures if they are not satisfied that the State Government has delivered for North Queensland.

Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter said the party would oppose the Budget if it did not include four specific demands, including a commitment to reduce North Queensland unemployment to 6 per cent by 2020.

"We don't have any choice here. We're obligated to use every device possible to make sure that the North gets its fair share," he said. "There's no way we're going to be rubber stamping a Liberal or Labor Budget unless it can deliver to the people in North Queensland."

KAP's demands include cutting power prices by 5 per cent, spending $1 billion on infrastructure in the North and the creation of a Budget Equity Board for the region.

Mr Katter said reducing the unemployment rate was not an unrealistic goal.

"We should have been building Hell's Gate Dam yesterday," he said.

The proposed Budget Equity Board would be tasked with reviewing the Budget in regards to spending in North Queensland.

"We are tired of seeing Budget after Budget being focused on chasing votes in the south-east, and if there is spending in the North, you can usually be sure it will be in a marginal seat right before an election," he said. "Not only do we think can we turn things around, we know we can drive North Queensland forward with the right policy settings."

Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth and independent crossbenchers Rob Pyne, Billy Gordon and Steve Dickson said they would vote against the Budget if the Government did not negotiate. 

News Corp Australia

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