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Tuesday, 7 May 1985
Page: 1417


Senator REYNOLDS —Is the Minister for Resources and Energy aware that the Queensland Cabinet has apparently decided to proceed immediately with the financing of the weir on the Mackenzie River? This decision goes against the advice of the Queensland Water Resources Commission which has pointed out that this project is not on Queensland's water resources priority list. Will the Minister consider rejecting the funding of Queensland's water resources projects until the Queensland Government abides by its own departmental advice instead of directing funds to this low priority project purely because of its proximity to the property of John Bjelke-Petersen?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I was not aware of the specific matter to which Senator Reynolds adverts until she rose to her feet. I am, of course, well aware of the long history of political misbehaviour by the Queensland Government involving dam and water projects, as much as anything else, within its jurisdiction. I will, of course, look very closely at what Senator Reynolds now draws to my attention. I will consider very carefully, on behalf of the Government, the implications of that course of action for the future Commonwealth funding of Queensland water projects.