‘Build the real Rookwood Weir’: Landry
THE political punch up over a crucial piece of water infrastructure has continued with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry renewing calls for the Queensland Government to build the “real Rookwood Weir”.
Ms Landry used this week’s news that consultation had officially opened for the $352 million project in Central Queensland to launch a few more verbal jabs at the State Labor government.
Ms Landry said while the public consultation process would normally be welcome news, she believed “the deck had already been stacked against” farmers, landowners and primary producers in Central Queensland.
She encouraged the community to make submissions and urged people to “tell Queensland Labor to build the real Rookwood Weir”.
Ms Landry said the proposed total water capacity for Rookwood Weir had changed four times in seven months.
“It was originally designed to be 76,000 ML, then down to 54,000, then back to 72,000 and now it’s at 50,000,” she said.
Ms Landry said under the current plans, the water allocation for agriculture had been slashed by 40 per cent (42,000 ML down to 20,000 ML) compared to the original plans which were approved by both levels of government.
“As you know, we rallied on the banks of the Fitzroy River to protest the drastic reductions in total water capacity to make sure this eventuality doesn’t happen,” the LNP MP said.
“Yet again, the State Labor Government has ignored farmers.
“I urge you to help us prevent bureaucrats in Brisbane deciding the water allocation for you, your family and your property.
“Tell them you want the Real Rookwood Weir built at 76,000 ML.
“The Federal Government’s spirit and funding for Rookwood is willing - the State Labor Government’s concrete is weak.”
Queensland’s Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham counter punched with some shots of his own at Ms Landry.
“The State Government is building Rookwood,” he said.
“We have allocated $149 million over two years to allow detailed planning and design.
“It doesn’t get more real than the crews out there right now in hard hats and hi-vis at Thirsty Creek and Gogango.”
Mr Lynham said still Ms Landry’s colleagues in Canberra had not put their money on the table.
“And they continue to thwart attempts to sign an agreement,” Mr Lynham said.
“Not only that, the Prime Minister sat across the table from the Premier on 12 July, 2019, and ruled out further money.”
In relation to Ms Landry’s “real Rookwood” comments, Mr Lynham said right now the state was building a $352 million weir that would deliver thousands of megalitres of water.
“The weir can yield up to 76,000ML medium priority water,” he said.
“That’s why we’re consulting farmers and industry about their requirements.
“Where are the letters the Member for Capricornia has written, and the representations and calls she’s made on behalf of CQ to Canberra to get Rookwood funds flowing?
“My advice is to either put up or shut up, and let the Palaszczuk Government get on with building Rookwood.”
Ms Landry said as with almost every single joint project between the state and federal government, federal funds were allocated on a milestone basis.
“Why does the State Government treat Rookwood Weir differently?
“The fact remains that the total cost of Rookwood Weir has changed three times in four years and the total water capacity has changed four times in just seven months.
“When one asks for additional funding for an essential project like Rookwood Weir, there are protocols attached and full costings on how the additional funds will be used need to be provided.
“Details written on the back of a napkin don’t apply.
“The Queensland Government are acting like the shonky builders you see on A Current Affair, asking for all of your money while without showing you the construction plans.”
For more information on the Rookwood Weir consultation process go to www.dnrme.qld.gov.au