Statement by North Queensland’s only Senator, Ian Macdonald
Australia’s new leadership team takes office with a real understanding of North Queensland and Townsville in particular.
While, as I have always indicated, I didn’t support a change in the Prime Ministership and voted against the spill this morning, the spill motion having been narrowly carried, I think the result is the best possible outcome for Australia and for the North.
Observers may well describe the new leadership team as the “sensible centre” of Australian politics but for me it is what can be done with the new team that is important.
Scott Morrison was the person who stopped the boats and since becoming Treasurer he has overseen a massive payoff of Labor’s debt with a surplus predicted the year after next and has been in charge of economic growth with over 400,000 new jobs created in just the last year alone.
The new Prime Minister was in Townsville recently and has a good understanding of the port issue, the stadium, the eastern rail access corridor and the necessity of water projects in the north.
I was very pleased that last year he was able to accept my invitation on behalf of the Cloncurry Shire Council to attend their annual Cattleman’s Dinner so I know he has a good feel for the north-west and west of our state.
Josh Frydenberg also has an intimate knowledge of the north and his understanding of the Barrier Reef, and its importance to tourism and jobs, will give the north that additional support at the highest levels of Australian government.
He was of course the very first Minister for Northern Australia and as such progressed the work of developing northern Australia in accordance with the North Australian Development White Paper.
I will be working to facilitate a visit to the north by the new Prime Minister at a very early date.