Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow are at loggerheads over need for update feasibility study for Gap Dam proposal.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow are at loggerheads over need for update feasibility study for Gap Dam proposal. Matty Holdsworth

Landry hits back at Strelow's Gap Dam push

FURTHER studies to look at the proposed Gap Dam would delay Rookwood Weir, a project which would create jobs within months of construction.

This is what Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said in reaction to yesterday's story with Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow who said more studies needed to be done before ruling out The Gap - a project that would see more water for the region than Rookwood and can't be done if the weir goes ahead.

Mayor Strelow called for a review as Central Queensland continues to miss out on funding from State and Federal Governments for big ticket projects.

She said if Central Queensland was going to fight back against the south east corner, it needed a 'bigger than Ben Hur' project.

"I have seen some pretty erratic behaviour from the mayor, but this one takes the cake and will take us back 40 years,” Ms Landry said.

"That's a bit weird,” Cr Strelow responded to the attack.

"I simply asked that we have a quick look to make sure that we weren't ruling out a project that might have legs.”

Ms Landry said not only had the mayor been on record on numerous occasions backing Rookwood, but claimed credit for initiating it in the first place.

"Rookwood Weir has the support of the Federal Government, Gladstone Regional Council, Livingstone Shire Council, Rockhampton Regional Council, CQ ROC, Growing Central Queensland and Capricorn Enterprise,” Ms Landry said.

"Each of these organisations has listed the project as a top priority for job creation, and is even listed as a priority project in the Rockhampton Regional Council Economic Development Action Plan.

"The only thing standing in the way of 400 construction jobs and 2100 ongoing jobs is the Labor State Government and the mayor of Rockhampton, who has refused to consider purchasing an allocation for Rockhampton,” she said.

Ms Landry said that going back to the drawing board would create unnecessary delay in job creation, with the proposed mega-dam neither realistic nor affordable.

"There have been countless feasibilities studies done on Rookwood, we committed $2 million for the business case over a year ago and the vital EIS was approved earlier this year; it is closer than any other water project we have to getting built.

"The Fitzroy Gap Dam has an unknown price tag, but could be anywhere up to $9 billion, and would take up to 10 years of scientific and environmental research before it could be even be considered by any government.

"The region needs the jobs now and there is no more reason for delay.”

Dominic Doblo, who has pushed the Gap Dam for years, said all that was needed was to update the 1977 feasibility study "to a modern standard”.



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