The Queensland State Government has shown how bereft they are of any serious policy or commitment for North Queensland by grandstanding about the placement of the Commonwealth Government’s CRC.
North Queensland based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald said he was amazed at the hypocrisy of the Labor Party trying to get a headline on the Commonwealth’s CRC, when the State Government does nothing for North Queensland.
Senator Macdonald was responding to calls from State Labor Minister for North Queensland and Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke, who earlier today used a visit to James Cook University to push for the CRC to be based in Townsville.
“The CRC for Northern Australia is a Commonwealth Government initiative, it is funded by the Commonwealth Government, it is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Northern Australia Whitepaper and the interim process has been established by the Commonwealth Government.
“Similarly, decisions on the final establishment of the CRC will be a matter for the Commonwealth Government, not the State Government that has put nothing into the proposal and frankly has nothing to do with it.
In fact the Federal Labor spokesperson on science matters was critical of the establishment of a Northern CRC.
The Labor Party at either state or federal level have no policy for Northern Australia, have no plans – and indeed have no idea!
They need to butt out of matters which don’t involve them and concentrate on doing the sort of things for North Queensland that the State Government should be doing.
The recent calls for a new state for North Queensland are an indictment of the inaction of the Queensland Government when it comes to the North.
I have always said that the CRC should be somewhere in the North, but a proper process has to be followed, led by the interim Chair, Cr John Wharton, and I am sure that when the final recommendations come forward, the right place will be selected.
There is also a lot of misunderstanding about the CRC. It does not involve a five storey bricks and mortar edifice, it is all about collaboration between private industry and science on how to plan and encourage sustainable development of the North.
The CRC will allocate some of the $75million provided by the Commonwealth Government to research institutions to look at particular projects which will lead to serious development in Northern Australia.
I just wish the State Government would do what it is paid to do rather than trying to grab headlines from someone else’s initiative.