PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has managed to mix fun with politics while visiting Rockhampton this morning.

Mr Turnbull is in the Beef Capital with his new Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce as part of their tour of Northern Australia.

  • Mr Turnbull unveiled a new allied health learning centre at CQUniversity North Rockhampton this morning before talking with the press about other political matters.
  • He made reference to a 90s movie about his tour with Mr Joyce, which sparked memes on Twitter.
  • The Prime Minister told reporters there would be no GST increase proposal put forward at the next election by the Coalition and that 'water was the source of life'.

"We (Barnaby Joyce and I) share a great passion for the development of Central Queensland and the development of its water resources," Mr Turnbull said.

"Most of the water in Australia falls in the north but there is very little water infrastructure in northern Australia, relative to the vast water resource.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce at CQUniversity North Rockhampton.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce at CQUniversity North Rockhampton. Kelly Butterworth

"It is the key, it is the source of life as Wade said when he gave the wonderful Welcome to Country earlier today.

"It is the source of life. It is the source of prosperity.

"It is the source of a further diversification of Australia's economy so that we continue to be resilient as we transition from the mining boom to take up the huge opportunities offered to us by the phenomenal economic growth in East Asia. 

"The doors to which have been flung open much wider by the great efforts of Andrew Robb, in particular, our Trade Minister with the big free trade agreements."

10am: NO proposal to increase Australia's GST will be taken to the next Federal Election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told reporters in Rockhampton.

Reporters are tweeting comments Mr Turnbull is making during a tour of Rockhampton with his new Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce.

The pair are on a Northern Australia tour.

Here is more on Turnbull's GST statement from this morning:

And...

9.40am: PRIME MINISTER Malcolm Turnbull has told a press conference at North Rockhampton's CQUniversity campus that 'water is the source of life'.

Mr Turnbull is visiting Rockhampton today and expected to be taken on an aerial tour of the proposed Eden Bann and Rookwood Weirs by Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.

9.30am: PRIME MINISTER Malcolm Turnbull has described his tour with new Deputy Barnaby Joyce of Northern Australia as 'not quite Thelma and Louise'.

Reporters at a press conference at CQUniversity are tweeting some of the comments he is making at the unveiling of the university's new allied health learning centre.

9AM: THE Prime Minister has unveiled a new allied health learning centre at CQUniversity this morning.

Mr Turnbull joined outgoing CQUniversity Chancellor Rennie Fritschy AM and Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, to unveil the innovative new centre. Read more about the centre and the visit here: PM checks out allied health building at CQU

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry shows Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull around CQUniversity and a new allied health learning centre with CQU Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman and others.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry shows Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull around CQUniversity and a new allied health learning centre with CQU Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman and others. Kerri-Anne Mesner

5am: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull may feel a little extra heat today when he visits Rockhampton.

Not only is a warm welcome and a blistering 39 degrees forecast but there is also the glare of the spotlight from today's leading story headline in The Morning Bulletin.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has penned an open letter to Mr Turnbull, calling on him to support the job producing Rookwood and Eden Bann weir projects on the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton.

The proposed sites for the two weirs on the Fitzroy River.
The proposed sites for the two weirs on the Fitzroy River.

The competition for federal funding is red hot across Australia but as Ms Landry points out this region is reeling from thousands of job losses due to the mining sector downturn.

As we look around Central Queensland for the next big thing, this project looms as one we can bank on - providing it gets state and federal government backing and obtains environmental impact study approval, etc.

The Bulletin understands Ms Landry will be taking the Prime Minister on a fly over the proposed Rookwood site with newly crowned Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce expected on the flight as well.

This project already has the support of Rockhampton-based Senator Matthew Canavan who was named Minister for Northern Australia at the weekend in a huge boost for the region.

"I will consider all other projects around northern Australia, but from what I've seen the water projects in the Fitzroy are some of the best and most developed in the country," he told The Bulletin on Sunday.

Ms Landry is asking the Prime Minister to commit 50% of the cost with the rest to come from state and local government coffers and private investors.

Eden Bann and Rookwood weirs have been costed at $496 million. Combined, they would flood 1200ha.

Fitzroy Agricultural Corridor jobs

Project is expected to create 2100 jobs from various sectors including:

  • Engineering, surveying, construction, bridge and road works, associated staff in the green and grain growing, feeding, transportation and animal husbandry of the cattle, accountants and business experts (advisers to farmers), legal offices, agronomy, live cattle trade, meat export processing, truck drivers and the list goes on.
  • Flow-on jobs: In addition to this there is a multiplier effect for things like schooling, vehicle purchases, mechanics, holidays, shopping, machinery and tractor maintenance, etc.
  • This can be up to three times the value of the agricultural product itself.

Source: Growing Central Queensland

 

Fitzroy River Agricultural Corridor

  • Close to meatworks, labour force and good access to grain.
  • Detailed studies completed and nine potential development areas identified (all greenfield sites).
  • Has the support of state and local governments.
  • The development of an agricultural corridor along the Fitzroy River and surrounding region.
  • Potential exists to establish intensive livestock and horticultural enterprises.
  • Suitable for development of several large-scale beef cattle feedlots, piggeries.


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