Tuesday 25 May 2010

Our man in Canberra

Here's our Jim Turnour, Federal MP for Leichhardt, championing our far northern woes in the budget debate late last night around 9:45 pm (Monday, 24 May) when most of you were watching some trashy Amercian crime drama on TEN, or WIN, or 7:

  • "I have spoken consistently about the challenges facing Cairns and the Far North Queensland economy during the past 18 months as a result of the global financial crisis that led to the global recession. Our region has been hard hit with the economic reliance on tourism and construction.

    Unemployment peaked at almost 14% last year, up from around 5% prior to the GFC. Sadly, in the current debate around a mining super profit tax, when I look back on that period of time and the economy that I was left with as the new member for Leichhardt, there is a recognition that our economy was left very vulnerable because of a failure in many ways of us to benefit from the mining boom under the former Howard government.

    There was no major investment in infrastructure, whether in roads, education or health in Far North Queensland under the former member as part of the Howard government. The former member now campaigning for re-election has been so embarrassed by the lack of investment in Leichhardt in his more than a decade in office that he has been left trying to claim credit for infrastructure projects being built in my first term. Why? Because our region did not benefit from the mining boom under the former government. That is why the mining super profits tax is important.

    It is critical that all Australians benefit from the proceeds of what are all of our natural resources. The 14,000-odd small businesses in my electorate who have been doing it tough deserve to benefit from the planned tax cuts and the red tape reductions. We want to see more infrastructure investment and increases in superannuation retirement benefits in our region.

    Since being elected I have been working in partnership with the local community business leaders and the Prime Minister and ministers to turn around our struggling economy. We have seen significant investments in projects like the new dental school at James Cook University currently under construction, a new $40 million bridge over the Mulgrave River and planning well under way for a $150 million upgrade of the southern access road into Cairns. In Cape York we have new houses under construction, in Cooktown a new multi-purpose centre, in Weipa a new childcare centre and I have secured funding for the upgrade of the Horne Island airstrip in the Torres Strait.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the government have responded to the specific needs and challenges facing communities in Far North Queensland, unlike the previous government. We have been working hard to strengthen and diversify our local economy, including tapping into the developing opportunities in the mining sector in places like Papua New Guinea. Last week we started to see some light at the end of the tunnel with unemployment dropping to 10.4%, which is down from the 12.4% of the previous couple of months. The end of the wet season is seeing tourism picking up and more of the Rudd government’s economic stimulus construction projects are beginning.

    These economic stimulus projects have been critical to supporting jobs in the construction industry in my electorate. Builders like Laurie Lidner, whom I met at a recent Building the Education Revolution opening, said that he had not heard from a developer for more than 12 months and his business would be in real trouble if he had not had this economic stimulus work. Similarly, Wayne Cavallaro, who is building social housing at the moment, talked about how subcontractors were dependent on that work to feed their children and to help pay off their houses.

    These critical projects are supporting jobs in local communities like mine. The tax task force that has been working in my electorate to support small businesses struggling with cash flow has been critically important—all direct responses from the Rudd government. Support for tourism has also been important. Recently, the return of flights from Japan and new flights from New Zealand have been supported with additional marketing funding from the Rudd government.

    We know that there is much more work to be done. I continue to work in partnership with business and community leaders, like those in Advance Cairns, the local council and the government, to deliver ongoing support to our local community. Last week the Deputy Prime Minister announced that another jobs expo will be held in Cairns on 25 June this year, building on the successful expo last year where more than 300 people found a job. The local council has been working up a plan for a new cultural precinct on the waterfront in Cairns, and I am working hard to secure funding for a new regional performing arts centre as part of that project.

    I want to see us go back to a fair system for funding air service charges at Cairns airport. The user pays system that was developed and implemented under the former Howard government has made our airport less competitive with other major gateways, and I want to see us go back to a network charging policy. That will encourage more airlines into Cairns and make our airport more competitive.

    We cannot risk the Tony Abbot led opposition.


Colin Riddell said...

We can't risk another term of you jimmy boy. Instead of changing the native title act this sneaky little waste of a suit has organised another useless meeting to get indigenous people to hope fully stop slaughtering the endangered sea turtles and dugongs, funny it is the very same weekend I have bob Irwin up here !

Here is what they are doing it in no way stops or counts the amount or species getting butchered....


Representatives from the more than 70 Traditional Owners groups within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will converge on Cairns later this month for a landmark meeting aimed at enhancing communication and information sharing about sea country.

Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett and Member for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour, today announced the two and a half day Sea Country Partnerships Forum scheduled for 28-30 May 2010.
"The Sea Country Partnerships Forum is a landmark event, signalling a real desire for partnership between Traditional Owners and marine managers for a sustainable future of the Reef," Mr Garrett said.

"This will be the first time such a large group of Great Barrier Reef Traditional Owners have come together to discuss broader sea country management issues under the Australian Government's Reef Rescue initiative and it builds on the great work already underway by Traditional Owners on these critical issues” Mr Garrett said.

Mr Turnour said the Forum will include a series of speakers, presentations and workshops aimed at working toward best practice sea country management and developing future leaders by strengthening youth connection to their sea country.


Colin Riddell said...


"The Government is committed to working with Traditional Owners and I am pleased that a big focus for all involved is a collaborative approach to sustainable management and use or our marine resources.

“This Forum follows requests from Traditional Owners to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for a collective opportunity to discuss sea country management. Several Traditional Owner groups have formalised agreements with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on how they manage their sea country," he said.

"The Forum gives Traditional Owners an opportunity to openly discuss their experiences in managing sea country and for valuable information sharing with marine managers,” Mr Turnour said.

This Forum is part of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Indigenous Land and Sea Country Partnerships Program, which is delivered through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The Program aims to foster the expansion of the Traditional Use of Marine Resources Program across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Here is how to solve this issue and everyone , but the die hard conservationists could live with it.


My recommendations on alterations to the native title act 1993

1. Turtles and dugongs must be dispatched humanely. Humanely must be defined

2.A moratorium to be imposed ASAP to determine sustainable numbers by scientific study

3.Permits must be issued by DPI or similar body to elders nominated to issue. This would help restore respect to elders , as it stands now elders have no back up for non compliance.

4.Government rangers and indigenous rangers to be appointed to monitor permit use , this would help elders to refuse family/relations demanding extras.And skulls or shells to be kept for proof of permit compliance , any extras found action to be instigated .This would give the elders a strong excuse to refuse extras as they can say they are heavily monitored.

5.Any breach by anybody to be prosecuted by severe penalties.

6.No killing of sea turtles and dugongs by anyone in green zones especially high tourist areas ,e.G. Great barrier reef.

7.Any animal on the endangered species list to be excluded from killing by anyone .

8. If it is determined there are none to be taken in any given declared area so be it.

9. Use traditional methods ,those to be determined