Joyce puts pipeline on wish list
HE'S been vocal on everything from industrial relations to Telstra and now Barnaby Joyce wants to add the Capricorn Coast's water woes to that list.
Queensland's most talked about Senator arrived in Rockhampton yesterday for his first visit to the region since taking up his seat in the Senate in July this year.
Securing Federal Government funding for the proposed Rockhampton-to-Yeppoon pipeline was the number one item on the agenda for his two-day visit.
"Coming from regional Queensland I know what it's like when you can't turn the tap on and I don't want to see that happen here,'' he said.
"We have to deal with the fact that people will want to keep moving to the Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton.''
He said his controversial stance on key government bills would not affect his ability to garner support for the multi-million dollar pipeline in Canberra.
"They (the government) rely on this seat every time they want to get something through the Senate and I believe that gives us some leverage.''
Mr Joyce said Capricornia was one of two federal electorates he had been appointed to "look after'' during his time in office and he planned to get a grasp on local issues during the visit.
But the former Emerald local did not believe he would have any trouble understanding the areas needs.
"I used to come down here regularly and I have some friends here ... at least I hope they are still my friends, he joked.
He said he had no regrets about his stance and said improving his performance was one of his New Year resolutions.
"We've had six months with this job and I think we can do a little better next year,'' he said.
"Also I'm going to have more carrot juice and less beer.