Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, was seeking to cut land prices in mining towns like Emerald.
Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, was seeking to cut land prices in mining towns like Emerald. Contributed

Katter seeks to slash prices on land values in mining towns

UNDER a radical new scheme, Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, claims he can reduce the cost of house blocks in mining towns to as little as $25,000 and put an immediate halt to sky-rocketing rents and house prices in Queensland's resource-rich areas.

The average house block in the Central Queensland mining town, Emerald, currently costs around $168,000.

Speaking to Queensland Mining and Energy Bulletin, Katter also took a shot at coastal-dwelling mine wives and what he described as Premier Newman's 'Moses' complex.

Explaining how the affordable housing scheme would work, Katter said, "We open up the land,"

"… the price of land has got nothing to do with anything else except the restrictions placed upon land subdivisions by government. Remove those restrictions and I can give you housing prices that you can only dream of."

"We sold land in 1990 in Charters Towers for $6000 a block, and any time the price went over $6000 we'd just dump another 20 or 30 blocks on to the market.

"When that power was taken away from the local Mines Department, that price shot up to $126,000 for a housing block in Charters Towers."

Under his scheme Katter says a block of land would cost around $25,000 to $30,000 and subdivisions would be born virtually overnight with the use of prefabricated homes. The required infrastructure such as extension of water supply, sewerage and road systems would be supplemented in part from the 20 per cent return from the Royalties for Regions scheme.

"The wives that demand that they want to live on the coast, they will look very stupid, to pass up three quarters of a hectare, your own little kingdom where you can have a pony walking around the backyard, or fruit trees, or you know, kangaroos, if you like pet kangaroos, or whatever.

"The really big contributing factor is greenies, and the town planners, the local blue heeler dog, they all get in the act. By the time they've all had their hit at you, you're looking at retirement.

"It goes on for years and years by the time you please all the government instrumentalities."

"…we will give to you the cheapest housing available in the world…"

When asked if he was heartened by Premier Newman's recent comments hinting at a winding back of FIFO, Katter replied "I'll believe it when I see it".

"For me he's got no credibility," Katter said.

"He said he'd remove the flying foxes in Charters Towers… he told us there'd be no sacking of public servants... he's told us a lot of things. He walks around saying he's going to stop flooding… is he Moses?

For the full interview please refer to the ebook edition of Queensland Mining and Energy Bulletin: http://ebook.aprs.com.au/i/114852 or visit http://www.qmeb.com.au