Local Townsville businessman Allan Evans said the return of Clive Palmer would create a huge employment boost for the region.
“Townsville should be celebrating Clive Palmer’s return to Townsville and the re-opening of Queensland Nickel. I view this as a shining light on the horizon,” the accountant said.
“Until now there has been no other company or individual in the market with the resources ready to move forward creating jobs.
“The re-opening of Queensland Nickel will create approximately 800 direct jobs with a flow on effect of approximately 3,000 indirect jobs,” he said.
“The two major parties, both federal and state, have been in a circuitous maze for years, never raising their heads over the top to witness or act upon the struggles being experienced in regional Australia.
“Voters in the seat of Herbert have been ignored and languished for too long as a result of poor policy action from Brisbane and Canberra.”
Mr Evans said the United Australia Party’s focus on jobs should be applauded.
“Jobs are the derivative of infrastructure projects and business activity.
“Manufacturing and major industries require competitively priced and abundant supply of electricity and water.
“Herbert and surrounding areas are sadly lacking in these commodities. Voters rightfully expect the duly elected government to provide these infrastructures.”
Mr Evans said North Queensland needed a base load, clean coal fired power station.
“Mr Morrison talks about lower electricity prices while at the same time retaining the Paris agreement and renewable energy targets – a complete oxymoron.
“Should Bill Shorten become Prime Minister, with a 50% renewable energy policy, power prices will rise probably 200%.
“Labor repeatedly strangles jobs in regional Queensland. The Green tail is wagging the red dog with the focus mainly on South East Queensland.
“Government delays in the start-up of Adani with the continuous shifting of the goal posts are an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“The underlying threat here, should Labor win the upcoming federal election, is that Shorten will introduce legislation to close the Galilee Basin and ban all coal mining in Australia.
“Jobs are being denied to workers who are ready to start. Businesses in Herbert and regional areas are missing out on revenue from mine procurements. Landlords are missing rent from fly in fly out workers and contractors,” Mr Evans said.
“Regional towns will soon be economically starved into non-existence.
“People without work will become slaves to the ever-increasing hand-out mentality of today.
“Adani’s very first approvals were given on May 8, 2014 with 190 conditions. On July 29, 2014, the federal minister for mines gave approval with 36 conditions,” he said.
“We have since then had numerous setbacks – the yakka skink, waxy cabbage palm, ornamental snake and now the black throated finch – to name a few.
“Adani is being stymied by both sectors of government to appease the Greens while the economy of Queensland is ignored. Adani has the potential to benefit the Queensland economy to the tune of an estimated $2.9 billion every year for 60 years.”
Mr Evans said more dams for the region were another necessity.
“Major infrastructure projects are necessary to provide reliable and sustainable living conditions and jobs for all of Australia.
“Burdekin Falls Dam Stage II would benefit not only the electorate of Herbert, it would support a large part of regional Queensland.
“The original Stage II initially planned for the wall to be raised to 14.6m above the current spillway. This would increase, by almost five times, the Burdekin Falls Dam’s current 1.8 million mega litre storage, and include a 500MW hydro-electric power station,” he said.
“Land has already been acquired for the foot print of the increased capacity of the dam. The additional capacity will irrigate land out to the Galilee Basin and south past Mackay as well as the Herbert-Burdekin region.
“Unless change is forthcoming to Australian politics, Australia will never again be called the lucky country.
“We need a strong and progressive party to restore Australia’s pride and prosperity.
“The United Australia Party is the only party with the vision and ability to make Australia great again.”