Bob Katter wants an army defence base in Mount Isa

Bob Katter wants a new Army battalion to be based at Mount Isa.
Bob Katter wants a new Army battalion to be based at Mount Isa.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter has called on the Federal Government to support the establishment of a defence base in Mount Isa as a "strategic defence move".

The call comes after last month's 2020 Strategic Defence Update revealed north Queensland will receive only 10 per cent of the $31 billion allocated to defence facilities over the next ten years.

Mount Isa currently has a small base on Ryan Rd which is the home of the Delta Company of the 51st Far North Queensland Regiment but Mr Katter said the government should strongly consider a new Battalion and army base there as well as inland fuel reserves, an ethanol and bio-diesel mandate for defence vehicles, more missiles and unmanned combat drones.

He said Australia was in the same position now as before the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.

"We welcome the Federal Government spending $31billion on defence and we hope the ordinance capabilities of the army are drastically increased but our missile capacity is negligible and the next war will be about missiles," Mr Katter said.

D Coy 51 FNQR is currently based at the Mount Isa Ryan Rd depot.

D Coy 51 FNQR is currently based at the Mount Isa Ryan Rd depot.

Mr Katter said the size of the Australian Defence Force needed to be doubled with a new battalion based in Mount Isa.

"It really is a perfect location as you can access the Gulf and it will work as a rear defence for the Australian and US defence personnel and infrastructure based in Darwin," he said.

"But the fuel issue is the most pressing problem for Australia's defence. At the moment we have one months fuel supply, and the Government's plan to build storage in the United States clearly won't help if trade and shipping routes are cut-off.

"It is absolutely imperative that there be two giant oil refineries built, and you don't want them anywhere near a big city, you want them inland. You also need a 10% ethanol mandate, and a 5% bio-diesel mandate, on all appropriate defence and civilian vehicles. It means you will have around 100 to 200 bio-diesel and ethanol refineries in Australia."

Mr Katter said Australians wanted to see action on the ground as fast as is humanly possible.

"This country is sick and tired of 'going-to-dos', you've made it so complex for us to do anything it is almost the law of the land that people act with a 'going-to-do' mindset," he said.

This story Bob Katter wants an army defence base in Mount Isa first appeared on The North West Star.