Rookwood Weir will cross the upper Fitzroy River from this rocky outcrop on the right.
Rookwood Weir will cross the upper Fitzroy River from this rocky outcrop on the right. Allan Reinikka ROK270519arookwoo

Backwards and forwards between pollies over Rookwood delays

FINGERS are being pointed in opposite directions to shift blame over the slow progress of the Rookwood Weir project.

At Rockhampton's Day of Action rally on Friday, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry took aim at the Queensland Government's handling of the project and the delays to construction by another year.

"What we need to do is get the rage going for Rookwood Weir," Ms Landry said.

"2000 jobs at stake, a billion dollars in agriculture, the project was supposed to have been started now. The roadworks haven't even started out there. They're going to take six months to do, they haven't even gone to tender yet."

She said Queensland's Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham had a lot to answer for and "if it was the Cross River Rail, it would have been up and going by now".

 

HIGH HOPES: Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham and Rockhampton MP Barry ORourke recognise many positive benefits from building Rookwood Weir.
HIGH HOPES: Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham and Rockhampton MP Barry ORourke recognise many positive benefits from building Rookwood Weir. Allan Reinikka ROK270519arookwoo

"They can't keep delaying this. Enough is enough, we need to see the dozers out there," she said yesterday.

"We put $130 million on the table, then another $46 million and $2 million for the business case and it's still not moving forward.

"To say it's going to be this year and now it's going to be next year - it's ridiculous."

Ms Landry said the Rookwood Weir project was her "baby" and her priority was to establish CQ as a food hub.

Dr Lynham defended the State Government's efforts, saying they were the only party with money on the table to get Rookwood started.

"We're trying to work a partnership agreement with the Federal Government," Dr Lynham said.

"We've contributed $66 million in the last budget towards getting the weir started, $49 million already on the table.

 

"But there's nothing from the Federal Government as we speak but we're still trying to work a fair partnership agreement with the Federal Government. But the local member should understand that delays are solely within her remit."

"As soon as we have negotiations finished with the Government, then it's over to SunWater for the management of construction for this weir," he said.

"There has been delays, mostly the delays have been with the Federal Government, but we're saying the hand of partnership and friendship is still extended to the Federal Government.

"We've put our money on the table. It's about time they finalised the partnership agreement so that their funds can finally contribute to this important piece of infrastructure."

Ms Landry welcomed Dr Lynham's offer of an extended hand of partnership, provided he was still motivated to build Rookwood Weir.

 

PET PROJECT: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry pictured at the Rookwood Weir site can't wait to see the project start.
PET PROJECT: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry pictured at the Rookwood Weir site can't wait to see the project start. Contributed

"Central Queenslanders have waited long enough for this project and if the result of the federal election didn't send a loud enough message to the ALP, I'm not sure what will; we want real job-creating infrastructure and we want it now,' she said.

"The Federal LNP has had our share of the cash on the table since mid-2016, however the process of getting the State Government to not only commit funding but to commit to actually commence construction has been something akin to a dental procedure.

"The Federal Government has $176 million sitting on the books, waiting for the State Government to begin this major job-creating project and the only barrier to the Queensland Government getting this funding is their reluctance to deliver infrastructure projects beyond the southeast corner.

"Our money is good, it is ready to go, and all we are waiting for is some action; just build it."



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