Independent Yodie Batzke will not be bullied by party politics


Karlie Brady


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Yodie Batzke Independent candidate for Cook. Image: Karlie Brady.
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The State election is just around the corner and there are eight candidates officially vying for our seat of Cook. Through a series of candidate profiles on our 2020 election coverage page Newsport will introduce them.

Cook Candidate, Yodie Batzke, says by running as an independent in the 31 October state election she can truly stand up for the needs of the Cook electorate and not be controlled by party politics.

“It is no longer a cliché but a reality when I say for far too long political representatives in Cook, have always danced to the tune of party populous and policies directly benefiting southern regions,” she said.

“I will not be bullied by party politics in how I will serve the people of Cook and believe holding the balance of power, will provide the leverage to bring real change to our region.”

Ms Batzke is an active community and political advocate in Far North Queensland and is a Traditional Owner from Cape York Peninsula, identifying with the Wuthathi People of Shelbourne Bay in Cape York.

As the former Director of Wuthathi Aboriginal Corporation Prescribe Body Corporate and Bromely Aboriginal Corporation Prescribe Body Corporate, Ms Batzke has experience in Native Title & Land Tenure and understands only too well the legislative complexities surrounding Far North communities irrespective of ethnicity.

Ms Batzke said as a leader she will first and foremost work with the community, Local Government Associations (LGAs), and Federal Government, in addressing our remote and regional needs.

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“It is important to have a strong working relationship with Local Governments in meeting their priorities in current planning schemes and collectively through the Far North Queensland Regional Organisations of Council or the Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance,” she said.

Ms Batzke’s platform priorities include:

  • Working closely with Hospital and Health Service Districts in FNQ, - “to increase the current critical level of care for Mareeba and Mossman Hospital from a level three to level four (establish a five-bed ICU), and continue supporting the health service provision needs of Mossman Hospital with birthing units and surrounding health services.”

  • Water security and provision – “supply and retaining water; rural irrigation pricing has been set for 2020-2024, lobby for a four-year moratorium on further rural irrigation price increase beyond 2024.”

  • Road and infrastructure development – “replacing of ageing water and sewage infrastructure and ongoing fiscal provision of Works for Queensland.”

  • To assist Mossman Botanic Garden Ltd in future development of the new Garden – “I will seek State Government in providing necessary funding to assist in major infrastructure trunk charges. I will also seek the extension of the proposed Wangetti Trail to continue beyond Mowbray north section to Mossman. Both Mossman Gorge and the new Mossman Botanic Garden site will add value to this trail and in turn provide further economic growth to the region.”
  • Relocating the main office of Cook back to Mareeba by co-locating with existing State Government Agencies and working directly with Local Government Association planning priorities and broader key priorities currently outlined in Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils and Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance.

  • Crime and misconduct – “the current Youth Justice Strategy 2019-2023 implemented by QLD Government in 2019, identified 63% of offences by juveniles directly related to property damage. Regional Councils are often left with the financial responsibility to repair damaged public property and in most cases, it can be taxing on existing limited budgetary arrangements. In other states, Local Government Associations have established security services dedicated to addressing crime prevention, which have proven to be effective. Therefore, I will lobby for additional funds to be allocated to LGA’s who wish to establish a Security Service Patrol, similar to the current model of best practise demonstrated by the City of Sterling in WA. I will work closely with FNQ Crime and Advocacy Justice Group priorities, for changes to be current sentencing laws for repeat offenders and review current Restorative Justice agreement between State, Federal and UN.

  • Monitor current legislation and international agreements currently governing our various industries both on land and sea, i.e. North Eastern Shipping Management Plan, Reef 2050, Wildlife Trade Management Plan – Queensland Crocodile Farming and Crocodile Egg Harvesting 1 November 2018 - 31 October 2023 and Reef Protection Regulations new standards to be implemented in June 2021.

“An opportunity to change the current status quo of political inertia is now in the hands of voting constituents,” Ms Batzke said.

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