INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter walked out of parliament while his own question was being answered by Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg, telling the NT News it was the most appalling performance he’d seen in his 41 years as an MP.
Mr Katter asked what effect the $506 million, 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to a privately-owned Chinese conglomerate would have on the nation’s northern coast.
After stating numerous times that the Turnbull Government was committed to “developing Northern Australia” Mr Frydenberg erupted into laughter when Mr Katter walked from the chamber.
“The member for Kennedy doesn’t like the answer!” Mr Frydenberg said through fits of laughter. Mr Katter said when the sale of the port was raised on his website it got more than 350,000 hits.
“Obviously the people of Australia consider it (the sale of the port) very important but the minister and his Liberal colleagues thought it was funny,” he said.
“He (the minister) probably needs a road map to find his way to Darwin.
“We have only one way you can get product out of Northern Australia … now it’s privately owned, they’ve got a monopoly and they can charge whatever they like.
“Would you buy an investment unit where someone had a toll on the only road in and out? You’d be an absolute idiot.”
Besides lambasting Mr Frydenberg’s Question Time performance, the colourful North Queensland MP also had some choice words for the CLP.
“It might come as a shock to the CLP that there is a name used for people that sell off their country but there is an infinitely worse name for people that sell us out,” he said.
Mr Katter said Northern Australia carried the economy through the coal, iron ore, aluminium and gold industries but its people were treated like “the biggest bunch of drongos”.
“They can’t see any offence in putting a member of parliament who lives in Melbourne as the Minister for Northern Australia,” he said.
“What have you got in Melbourne? A car industry the Government is closing down.”