23 November, 2020
Minister silent on normalisation
Minister silent on normalisation for Weipa
By MATT NICHOLLS
WEIPA’S long-term future as a town could be in jeopardy after the new Local Government Minister Steven Miles refused to make a commitment to normalisation
Mr Miles, who took on the local government portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle, would not answer questions from Cape York Weekly.
Instead, he passed the buck to the local government department.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “The Queensland government and Rio Tinto are open to a transition of responsibility over time, and commenced formal negotiations in August 2020, to consider the feasibility of establishing a Weipa local government.
“No decision has been made by the Queensland government to progress to a local government.
“Both parties are continuing to work with the WTA with a view to examine future local government arrangements for Weipa.”
Weipa Town Authority chair Michael Rowland said he hoped a deal could be struck for the benefit of Weipa’s long-term future.
Rio Tinto is also supportive of normalisation and is prepared to make a significant contribution.