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Environmental tick for Rookwood Weir - time for Palaszczuk to stop stalling



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HON. BARNABY JOYCE MP SENATOR THE HON. MATTHEW CANAVAN Leader of the Nationals Minister for Resources & Northern Australia

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources

KEN O’DOWD MP MICHELLE LANDRY MP

Member for Flynn Member for Capricornia

MEDIA RELEASE

2 March 2017

ENVIRONMENTAL TICK FOR ROOKWOOD WEIR - TIME FOR PALASZCZUK TO STOP STALLING

 Queensland’s Rookwood Weir receives approval under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act  Turnbull-Joyce Coalition has $130 million on the table ready to build Rookwood Weir  Queensland Government must match funding and expedite the completion of the Commonwealth-

funded business case.

Rookwood Weir has officially received environmental approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, meaning the project is now shovel ready once the State Labor Government stops stalling.

Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, along with National Party colleagues, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd all welcomed the milestone today towards securing the region’s water supply and creating more much needed jobs.

“The Nationals are all about building our regions and driving regional jobs and industry,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Coalition Government knows Rookwood Weir near Rockhampton will be a game changer for Central Queensland. It is predicted to fuel a $1 billion boom in farm production and create up to 2100 jobs.

“The Rookwood Weir is shovel ready and the Coalition Government’s commitment of $130 million is on the table. The only thing holding it up now is the Palaszczuk Labor Government, which refuses to deliver its end of the bargain as it seeks to appease radical Greens ahead of a state election.

“It’s been stalling on the business case for months, despite the fact that $2 million to finalise that business case is being funded by the Federal Coalition Government. The Coalition committed to the funding on the 26 May 2016, so there are no excuses for the delay.”

Minister Canavan said investment in job-creating water projects is a major part of the Coalition Government’s plan to boost the economy of the north.

“More water means more wealth and more jobs - and jobs are what Central and North Queensland needs.

"That’s why we have invested $6 billion in a plan to build the north through infrastructure investment, coupled with roads and decentralisation plans to build local towns and communities,” Minister Canavan said.

“Of the $60 million of funding put aside for feasibility studies and water resource assessments, $30 million has been invested in Queensland, with more than two thirds of that allocated to northern Queensland.”

Ms Landry said she is all too aware that the Queensland Government has short-changed investment in water infrastructure in regional Queensland.

“Our investments are to make up for lost time. The Queensland Government needs to finish the business case for Rookwood Weir,” Ms Landry said.

“Labor’s stalling tactics defy common sense. In 2006, former Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie committed to build the Rookwood Weir, saying it was a key infrastructure component in the development of the region.

“Now, more than 10 years later, the Palaszczuk Government is standing in the way of new jobs and new economic opportunities in the region.”

Mr O’Dowd said the Coalition is getting on with the job to deliver vital water security for regional Queensland.

“Rookwood Weir will create a ribbon of water stretching 60km across dusty Central Queensland plains, providing a secure water supply to drought proof Gladstone, Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast. It will also provide farmers with access to a reliable water source for irrigation.

“It’s time the Palaszczuk Government stopped focussing on the Brisbane political games and did its bit to support regional jobs and help secure this region’s water supply.”

Media contact: Minister Joyce - Megan Dempsey 0491 222 306 Minister Canavan - Kylie Barron 0438 493 114 Ken O’Dowd MP - Douglas Rodgers 0411 658 056 Michelle Landry MP - 07 4922 6604