Bob Katter speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
Bob Katter speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch

PM woos Katter with $204m cash splash

SCOTT Morrison has offered key independent Bob Katter hundreds of millions of dollars in pet projects in North Queensland to shore-up stability in the new minority government.

The Prime Minister has written to Mr Katter - now one of five independents - to fund $180 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme project and up to $54 million for the long-awaited Hells Gate Dam state 1, Big Rocks Weir.

The spectacular win for Mr Katter comes as the firebrand just days ago signalled he may support the referral of Victorian Liberal Chris Crewther to the High Court amid questions about his eligibility to sit in Parliament under Section 44 of the Constitution.

It comes as similar threats have not been ruled out by other crossbenchers to refer Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to the High Court for a similar alleged breach that was raised by Malcolm Turnbull when he was being challenged for his top job.

The Prime Minister has written to Mr Katter — now one of five independents — to fund $180 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme project and up to $54 million for the long-awaited Hells Gate Dam state 1, Big Rocks Weir.
The Prime Minister has written to Mr Katter — now one of five independents — to fund $180 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme project and up to $54 million for the long-awaited Hells Gate Dam state 1, Big Rocks Weir.

In correspondence exclusively obtained by our sister paper, The Courier-Mail, Mr Morrison wrote, "I seek your continued agreement to support the Government on issues of confidence and supply as well as all motions procedural or otherwise and second reading amendments that attempt to cause disruption to the good order of the House.

"I acknowledge that you will continue to vote on legislation as you see fit but ask that you raise any concerns with the Government prior to legislation being voted on.

"The funding for these projects is for all necessary regulatory, compliance, pre-construction and capital works.

"As with all projects funded by the Commonwealth, normal public probity requirements will also be met."

 

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP/Michael Chambers
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP/Michael Chambers

 

He said the Government would also worth with indigenous communities like Yarrabah and Mornington Island to set up market gardens.

The cash is a big win for Mr Katter politically but also for many in the Nationals who have long pushed for bigger, water projects in the north.



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