(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
Without doubt, the major underlying factor that urgently needs attention is obviously UNEMPLOYMENT and/or UNDER-EMPLOYMENT.
In Queensland, one project alone has the potential to create over 90,000 permanent jobs, stimulate local shire economies, and give a massive boost to small and large businesses. This project will cost hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars, but is totally returnable, with enormous monetary gains to the public purse.
I refer to a National Water Grid (Revised Bradfield Scheme), the proposed diversion of the upper Tully, Herbert and the Burdekin Rivers on to the inland plains of North and Central Queensland.
You may say, great project, but look at the cost. I hasten to emphasis the reality that billions of taxpayer dollars are currently being allocated annually to fund Social Security payments without any return. I am confident that a visit to the Queensland offices of Centrelink, (formerly the CES) will find thousands of willing unemployed people genuinely looking for permanent employment.
This project is potentially on such a scale that it will eclipse the achievements of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, create a clean energy source by way of hydro-electric power harnessed by the rivers system, apply conservation and utilisation of water resources by irrigation of the drought effected areas of North and Central Queensland. The design will also divert floodwaters into the Scheme, dramatically reducing the hardships and burdens placed on "the man on the land" in terms of stock and crop losses.
It will assist in the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and will facilitate a fully sustainable energy system in Queensland.
The Federal Government MUST instigate massive infrastructure projects of the magnitude such as the Revised Bradfield Scheme, to revitalise the Australian economy, or face the real possibility of joining the current economic crisis's of the South East Asian countries.
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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870