The total lack of meaningful response from the LNP as to how the negative community impacts of the massive Australian Defence Forces (ADF) ‘land-grab’ at Shoalwater Bay will be addressed has raised more questions than answers.
“Three years on from first finding out about ADF’s forced acquisition plans to expand Shoalwater Bay Army Training Area (SWBTA) so more foreign troops can train there, the community are still waiting for answers to some major questions,” Mayor Bill Ludwig said.
“Last Saturday’s revelations of extent of the vast areas of highly productive beef land that ADF have already acquired now require appropriate answers to those outstanding questions from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and our local MP.
“Vague responses that it is still ‘too early’ in the planning stage to give the community simple answers to issues that will impact so heavily on them are simply not good enough.
“If this election is about trust, after three years of detailed planning by ADF and the Federal Government, Livingstone ratepayers and residents have a right to know and get real answers to the following five questions,” Cr Ludwig said.
1. Exactly what plans have been put in place to address the accumulative impacts on Livingstone ratepayers through loss of rates revenue, $35 million loss from the regional beef industry and the direct social and economic impacts on both Marlborough and Stanage Bay townships?
2. If re-elected to Federal Government does the Coalition have any intention of contributing to the next stages of upgrading army access routes to a safe ‘fit for purpose’ standard and to making a fair contribution to maintaining the local roads they use?
3. How much of the promised $1 billion touted to bring economic benefits will be left following the huge amount spent on acquiring the vast areas of highly productive grazing properties so far?
4. What will the operational impacts be on the handful of primary producers left in those areas?
5. Without former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull there to intervene will ADF eventually revert to forced acquisitions again to squeeze out remaining property owners?