Rob Katter and Shane Knuth to battle for the west
KATTER'S Australian Party MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth are the two men who hold the key to the revitalised economic prosperity of the Central Highlands and western Queensland.
"We have the leverage to deliver the Galilee Basin," Mr Katter declared, as the pair continued to hold out on which party they would support.
"We have enormous unemployment problems. Everyone is worried about jobs and job losses and there's 28,000 jobs lying latent out there.
"While I might sound parochial as the Member for Mt Isa, I will use whatever leverage I have to get investment into regional Queensland."
ALP Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk wouldn't set foot inland during the election campaign, but Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said he had been reassured he had bipartisan support for development of the Galilee Basin, no matter which party fell over the line.
"We have been so adamant about wanting to see bipartisan support for projects in the Galilee Basin, and it became a little bit of an election plaything, but where we landed was with some pretty supportive statements from Curtis Pitt and Annastacia about the Galilee," Mr Roche said.
"We certainly have reached out to Katter's Australian Party on a couple of issues, and certainly with the Galilee Basin they're much more gung-ho a government should build the railway.
"They are pro-ag, but far from anti-mining.
"We're not particularly frightened about an influential role for the KAP in a future government.
"With all parties there are positives and negatives, but if we do have a minority government, I think they have a lot of good ideas."
Mr Katter said he and Mr Knuth had received brief-ings from the Coordinator-General and Treasury departments on the viability of the Galilee Basin as a coal and gas precinct.
The pair also spoke with the country's biggest rail builder.
"We have a list of priorities to take to the major parties to see how well they align with those priorities," Mr Katter said.
"The Galilee Basin is at the top of that list."