IT'S time to overcome our "dam phobia", with dam sites set to be the way for a prosperous and strong Australian economy.
That was the message that Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivered as he made a stop in Rockhampton yesterday afternoon for a community lunch.
Mr Abbott said that the Federal Government's main objective was to build a strong and prosperous economy for the country.
Part of that objective was ensuring that Australia has a stable agricultural sector, which included Central Queensland.
"If we're going to have a good agricultural sector we need the resource, and the resource agriculture needs above all else is water," Mr Abbott said.
"So we do need to overcome the dam phobia which has affected our country for the best part of three decades."
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry last week flew over areas in Central Queensland to source possible dam sites. Ms Landry said she was eager to discuss the possibilities of dams during the Prime Minister's visit.
Yesterday's lunch, hosted by Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, was a chance for the Prime Minister to meet and thank some of the region's volunteers, including those from Meals on Wheels, the SES and the Red Cross, among several others.
Mr Abbott said he could tell that Central Queensland was all about people who wanted to make the most of themselves and provide a better life for their children and grandchildren.
"When I look at this audience I see good people, parents raising children to be outstanding citizens and businesses people doing the right thing by their customers," he said.
"I see miners and fishermen and farmers, people who are getting on with building our country."
And when it comes to building the country, the Bruce Hwy is high on Mr Abbott's list.
"The Bruce Hwy as we know goes out a couple of times most years, particularly here in Rockhampton, so the next few years we will be spending millions of dollars on the highway," Mr Abbott said.
'We need to spend less on current consumption and more on long-term investments on our roads and infrastructure that this region needs."
Mr Abbott is expected to head to Moranbah today.