10 May 2023

No major promises made by Cook candidates

| Cape York Weekly
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WEIPA and the communities on the Western Cape have been largely ignored by the political parties trying to win the seat of Cook.

No big-ticket items have been promised and there appears to be no appetite to commit to any major infrastructure projects.

Most of the pledges have been based around Mareeba, Mossman and Port Douglas.

Kowanyama’s health clinic will get one renal dialysis treatment space as part of a $27.8 million statewide commitment from Labor.

Cooktown Hospital will get 16 spaces, Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said.

“Unfortunately, more and more people require renal dialysis in our community,” Ms Lui said.

“This will make a real difference to the lives of people who spend so much time travelling for care.

“Having an additional 17 chairs for renal dialysis in Cook will mean patients in our community will spend less time travelling to their appointments and more time in their community, with friends and family.”

The announcement had support from the Katter’s Australian Party.

Robbie Katter called on LNP Leader Deb Frecklington to match the promise to establish new satellite renal dialysis treatment centres across regional North Queensland.

Mr Katter said he was relieved that, after decades of lobbying, the incumbent Labor government had heard the desperate calls from rural Queenslanders who for too long have been forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to access their life-saving treatment.

“Big-ticket money bribes are being thrown around by the major parties all across the south-east during the campaign, but we have had to fight tooth and nail for years even to get this,” he said.

Mr Katter said the dialysis promise was also flawed in that it did not include Mareeba, where there are no dialysis services, or Mount Isa, where additional chairs were needed.

“This announcement today will mean a great deal to a lot of people, but it’s all just words until we see the clinics set up and the patients able to get their care in their hometowns,” he said.

Mr Katter flew into Weipa last week with his candidate for Cook Tanika Parker.

When they arrived on the ground, they seemingly had no set schedule or appointments with local constituents.

The Cape York Weekly was able to point them in the direction of some key players in town.

However, they did not meet with the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, nor have an official sit-down with the Weipa Town Authority.

WTA chairman Michael Rowland said the Katters could hold the balance of power after the election and he hoped to discuss some key issues with their party.

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