SUBJECTS: Tourism on Great Keppel Island, Adani, Migration

RUSSELL ROBERTSON, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CAPRICORNIA: I've got with me today the Shadow Minister Stephen Jones and the local Labor MP Brittany Lauga and they're coming with me again to have a look at the funding needs for GKI.


Last week I called on the Deputy Prime Minister and Stephen Jones to come and have a look at this product, see what we've got, check out Great Keppel - the jewel in the Capricorn Coast crown - because we're after some funding.


We're after some funding to increase tourism numbers up to that 860,000 that the tourism department and the State Government has rejected and we need someone to fight for that funding.


The local MP Michelle Landry is turned her back on the Capricorn Coast, but I'm here to fight for that funding to try and get those jobs and get those tourisms back to the Capricorn Coast to increase the turnover we see here. I'm going to hand over now to Shadow Minister Stephen Jones who's going to talk a little bit more about that fight and what we're going to do to try and match that State Government funding.


STEPHEN JONES, SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES: Thanks Russell, great to be here with you. Thanks for the invitation and great to be here with Brittany Lauga as well.


Last week Russell Robertson threw down a challenge to myself and the Deputy Prime Minister to come over to Great Keppel Island to see what a wonderful tourism potential it has and to explain the needs, the infrastructure needs on the island. Well I've accepted the challenge. I haven't seen the Deputy Prime Minister yet, but I'm sure Russell would welcome him to explain the benefits of this project as well.


Now, it's the core business of tourism operators to build great resorts and great facilities, but it is the core business of government to deal with power and water facilities, and I'm pleased that the Queensland Government through the great work of Brittany Lauga has put some money up for this project. I want to have a look at the details today and I'll go straight back down to Canberra tomorrow to talk to to Bill Shorten and the Labor team to see if we can't get a commitment out of the Labor Government to fund this project if we win the next election in May this year.


We know this has the capacity to really turn the region around through great tourism, growing tourism visits to the region by up to a million new visits over the medium term. So we want to see those jobs. We want to see that investment. We want to see the Federal and the State Government working together on that. Before there's any questions, I'll throw over to Brittany.


BRITTANY LAUGA, STATE MEMBER FOR KEPPEL: Thanks Stephen, good morning everyone. It's great to have Stephen here back again in the region, and also Russell Robertson the Federal Candidate for Capricornia.


The Palaszczuk Government has committed 25 million dollars towards infrastructure on Great Keppel Island and we are delivering on that commitment.


A marine survey is currently underway to look at the corridor for which the infrastructure will be delivered from the mainland over to the island, but it would be wonderful if Federal Labor could come to the table and can match that commitment.


I have called on Michelle Landry, the Federal Member to match the State Government's commitment and she has flat out refused to. Despite that, she has said publicly a number of times that Great Keppel Island is a great economic driver for our region and has great tourism potential.


Despite all of that she's still refusing to back this project and to put her money where her mouth is and actually commit the funding.


I'd really like to see Federal Labor make a commitment, it's great to have Stephen here after Russell put the call out and the challenge to both sides of politics. Stephen's answered the call, we haven't seen the Deputy Prime Minister here. We haven't seen Michelle Landry here. We haven't seen any commitment from the Federal Government but it's Federal Labor that's actually answering the call and is coming here over to Great Keppel Island today to listen.


That all projects just need to stack up environmentally and financially and that's the same you it doesn't matter where the project is just needs to meet that requirement and and away we go. I haven't got a personal relationship with anyone at the mine. So it's tough for me to comment on the exact sum of it all.


JOURNALIST: Shorten yesterday said he don't think the mine is going ahead, the Adani mine. Is that the point of view?


ROBERTSON: I haven't seen any of the comments like that but we've maintained constantly that all projects just need to stack up environmentally and financially and that's the same view. It doesn't matter where the project is, it just needs to meet that requirement and away we go.


JOURNALIST: So what is going on with the mine, do you know?


ROBERTSON: I haven't got a personal relationship with anyone at the mine so it's tough for me to comment on the exacts of it all.


JOURNALIST: inaudible question - Central Queensland Rail Link


ROBERTSON: So what we've seen is the Turnbull Government walk away from it. So we're at the stage now is we need to know why they walked away from the project and what their concerns were until we get that information. It's hard to understand their views.


JOURNALIST: About migrants. What are your thoughts on plans to attract more migrants to Rockhampton.


ROBERTSON: We've been consistently asking for a bipartisan approach to any immigration policy. That's something we've seen Scott Morrison walk away from what he should be doing is coming with Labor and working on the skills shortage to train people before he looks further afield.


JONES: We welcome people coming to Australia to fill skill shortages. We want to ensure that locals have got jobs first. So if we've got people are unemployed looking for work. We can't see the sense of bringing more people into the region if there are people unemployed that could be filling jobs that are out there. So let's look after our locals first.