LNP LEADER Tim Nicholls has announced that if elected at the forthcoming State election, his government would invest $1.3 billion in dams and water infrastructure.
“About $812 million would come from the State Government and the remainder would come from Federal funds,” he said.
The Urannah Dam, Nullinga Dam, Rookwood Weir and Burdekin Falls Dam were included in the announcement.
As part of the plan, an LNP Government would set up a Queensland Dam Company, similar to the Snowy Hydro Authority, to manage the projects.
Many will be sceptical, because it has all been heard before — but someone has to bite the bullet one day.
The sad part is that the major proponent of dams across Queensland, Barnaby Joyce, couldn’t attend the announcement as he is busy campaigning for his own re-election following the dual citizenship farce.
Then it was Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to be sceptical — saying that the LNP plan was “nothing new.”
While the Premier rattled-off a list of some of the things that her government has previously announced, her government has done nothing because they may upset the Greens, who are odds-on to win the seat of West End which is currently ‘owned’ by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
But that hasn’t stopped agricultural bodies being buoyed by the prospects of more water storage opening-up vast tracts of land to new farming ventures.
AgForce has welcomed it, describing the move as a “significant step forward for agriculture and the state’s economy” if implemented.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said that farmers and irrigators supported proposals from all parties willing to invest in new water infrastructure, as well as improving and maintaining existing irrigation schemes.
“For Queensland to continue producing world class food, fibre and foliage, agriculture must have access to reliable and affordable water, particularly in a changing climate. This announcement has the potential to do this,” he said.
Central Queensland-based Federal MPs have also welcomed the announcement that an LNP State Government will build Rookwood Weir.
Senator Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, said Rookwood Weir would be an enormous boost to jobs in Central Queensland.
Michelle Landry, Member for Capricornia, said the current government wants to spend $5 billion for a train line going through Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s electorate in the inner city of Brisbane, but can’t find less than three per cent of that to create thousands of jobs in Central Queensland.”
Ken O’Dowd, Member for Flynn, was cynical: “I suppose you can lead a Labor Premier to water, but you just can’t make them build.”