Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in Rockhampton last year to talk about infrastructure spending and the proposed Rookwood Weir.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in Rockhampton last year to talk about infrastructure spending and the proposed Rookwood Weir. Chris Ison ROK271016cpm2

Dear Deputy PM, show us the Rookwood money: QLD Government

SHOW us the money.

That's the message the Queensland Government has for the federal government regarding an increased funding offer for Rookwood Weir Project.

In an exclusive for the Morning Bulletin, a letter was obtained from Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce seeking documentation to support the doubled funding offer of $260m made to the Queensland Government for the construction of Rookwood Weir.

WAR OF WORDS: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry versus Queensland Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey.
WAR OF WORDS: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry versus Queensland Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey. Chris Ison ROK030817crookwood1

When Michelle Landry came forward earlier this week asserting that an increased funding offer had been made, at the June sitting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, it got the attention of Mr Bailey.

"Despite the Federal Government providing $130 million (or half of construction costs) at the last year's election, and the Prime Minister doubling the offer earlier this year, this Queensland Government simply refuses to develop Central Queensland and grow the economy,” Ms Landry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Qld Government has been offered the full funding required for the Weir and are yet to respond to this offer made early in 2017.”

READ: Landry says PM offered to double the money for Rookwood

The Queensland Government has consistently maintained that offers such as these would need to have the appropriate supporting documentation for it to be seriously considered given the magnitude of the money involved.

READ: What really happened with the $260 million for Rookwood weir

It will now be up to the federal government to provide clarification regarding the offer and possibly make an offer that could be seriously considered by the Queensland Government's cabinet as they deliberate on granting approval for the Rookwood Project with a decision due before the end of the month.

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey wants formal documentation for for the increased funding offer for Rookwood Weir.
Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey wants formal documentation for for the increased funding offer for Rookwood Weir. Adam Wratten

For a full transcription of the letter from Mr Bailey to Mr Joyce, see below:

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

RE: Lower Fitzroy Infrastructure Project (Rookwood Weir)

During the 2016 Federal Election, the Coalition made a commitment to provide up to $130 million to co-fund construction of the Rookwood Weir, should a business case demonstrate it is economically viable.

At that time, the project was estimated to cost $260 million based on preliminary designs, using parameters established in 2010 at the commencement of the Environmental Impact Statement process.

Following the Federal election, this offer was confirmed in writing by you on 15 August 2016.

I note recent public statements by the Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP, including those made on 17 October 2017, indicating the Australian Government has offered to double its funding commitment to the Rookwood Weir project.

In particular Ms Landry has stated that:

"Despite the Federal Government providing $130 million (or half of construction costs) at the last year's election, and the Prime Minister doubling the offer earlier this year, this Queensland Government simply refuses to develop Central Queensland and grow the economy.”

"Qld Government has been offered the full funding required for the Weir and are yet to respond to this offer made early in 2017.”

Any increased capital grant funding commitment - $260 million or more towards the capital cost of the project - has never been formally communicated to the Queensland Government.

As this would have a material impact on the business case analysis of commercial and economic viability of the project, your urgent confirmation in writing of this increased commitment is requested.

The Queensland Government is committed to supporting regional economic growth and will consider investing in bulk water supply projects that are economically beneficial, in line with Queensland's Bulk Water Opportunities Statement.

Your confirmation of the Australian Government's increased funding commitment will allow the Queensland Government to come to a decision on the progression of Rookwood Weir.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Bailey MP

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply



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