10 May 2023

Minister silent on normalisation

| Matt Nicholls
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WEIPA’S long-term future as a town could be in jeopardy after the new Local Government Minister Steven Miles refused to make a commitment to normalisation

Mr Miles, who took on the local government portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle, would not answer questions from Cape York Weekly.

Instead, he passed the buck to the local government department.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “The Queensland government and Rio Tinto are open to a transition of responsibility over time, and commenced formal negotiations in August 2020, to consider the feasibility of establishing a Weipa local government.

“No decision has been made by the Queensland government to progress to a local government.

“Both parties are continuing to work with the WTA with a view to examine future local government arrangements for Weipa.”

Weipa Town Authority chair Michael Rowland said he hoped a deal could be struck for the benefit of Weipa’s long-term future.

Rio Tinto is also supportive of normalisation and is prepared to make a significant contribution.

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