Barnaby Joyce

Don’t hold up history-making QLD water investment

25 Oct 2016

 

The Queensland Government has dropped the ball on water infrastructure with funding about to flow for feasibility studies as a part of the Coalition Government’s history making $2.5 billion water package aimed at unlocking Australia’s full economic and productive potential.

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said that State and Territory Governments in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia had all given their support to undertake feasibility studies as a part of the Coalition Government’s history making $2.5 billion water investment.

 

“The Coalition Government is committed to delivering on our election commitment to fast-track key infrastructure projects across the nation,” Minister Joyce said.

 

“Queensland submitted 26 applications to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund’s expressions of interest round for feasibility studies but it seems that’s where the state government’s interest dropped off, despite the Coalition Government’s commitment to fund 13 projects, the most for any jurisdiction.

 

“The Coalition has already invested $15 million in water resources assessments across Northern Australia and is providing an additional $19.8 million to fast track 14 feasibility studies in Queensland. This is in addition to the $5 million Nullinga dam feasibility study announced through the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, which is currently underway.”

 

Minister Joyce said $130 million had also been put on the table for the construction of Rookwood Weir which would create thousands of jobs and assist in the development of the region, and an additional $2 million had been committed to finalise the business case.

 

“Supporting water infrastructure projects has significant flow on effects and it is estimated the Rookwood Weir will unlock an additional $1 billion in agricultural production in the region – doubling the catchment’s current production,” Minister Joyce said.

 

“In 2006, former Queensland Labor Premier, Peter Beattie, had committed to the construction of Rookwood Weir by 2011 stating it was a key infrastructure component in the development of the region and said, on 6 June 2006 in State Parliament, ‘we are building the future’.

 

“These exciting new projects will help deliver real benefits to regional and rural Queensland, and I hope the leader of The National Party has at least paid attention. Yesterday he claimed our South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan was on the never-never,” Premier Beattie said.[1]

 

“We are providing the building blocks to help our regions grow through a bigger financial commitment to the bush …. to build a Queensland not only of today but also of tomorrow.”[2]

 

“So I ask the Queensland Labor Government, where is the Weir?” asked Minister Joyce.

 

“It seems that the Leader of The National Party in Queensland at that time’s claims were founded when he said the chances of a Queensland Labor Government delivering for the regions was “on the never never”.

 

“The State Labor Government needs to get on with the job and to stop delaying the construction of the Rookwood Weir and the creation of around 2,100 new jobs.

 

“The Coalition Government, with the support of all other states, is delivering the nation’s water infrastructure needs of the future in order to drive jobs and growth.”

 

FAST FACTS:

 

[1] Queensland Parliament, weekly Hansard, Thursday 16 February 2006, p195

[2] Queensland Parliament, weekly Hansard, Thursday 16 February 2006, p195

 

 

 

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