Landry on attack after Labor questions $25m pledge for levee
CAPRICORNIA MP Michelle Landry yesterday slammed claims she "lied” to the people of Rockhampton after the Federal Government conditionally pledged $25million towards the city's $60m levee project.
Ms Landry was scathing as she responded to claims by Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson that the Federal Government had put up another "bureaucratic hurdle” for the levee.
"The Labor candidate's statement reeks of desperation and takes Central Queenslanders for fools,” she said.
"The money is on the table, all that is required is for the business case to stack up, which I'm sure it will.”
Mr Robertson had said the government's $25m grant from its Regional Growth Fund was still subject to acceptance of the Rockhampton Regional Council business case for the levee but Ms Landry said it wouldn't be a problem.
"The Council has done a power of work to prepare the case for this project and unlike the Labor Candidate, I am confident in their work,” she said.
However Mr Robertson claimed that all Ms Landry had done was to announce another delay to the much-anticipated project.
"It is another Landry lie to cover up the fact that she has not been able to protect more than 1000 properties by funding the levee,” he said.
"Labor put our money for the flood levee on the table a year-and-a-half ago.
"Meanwhile, the pretenders in the LNP have been busy fighting with each other instead of fighting for us.”
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick also put the boot in, saying the State Government had committed $25 million to fund the proposed South Rockhampton Flood Levee in the 2017-18 Budget but now found "the Morrison Government raising another barrier to this project proceeding”.
"Their funding commitment seems to be all smoke and mirrors - they simply need to get on the with the job of building this flood levee,” Mr Dick said.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said the South Rockhampton Flood Levee was vital infrastructure for a community still recovering from the flooding of 2017, and that a solid commitment from Canberra was paramount to work starting.
"Rockhampton has a long history of flooding, with the Fitzroy River inundating our region in 1991, 2011, 2013, and again last year as a result of Cyclone Debbie,” Mr O'Rourke said.
"These floods devastated Rocky, and on each occasion had significant impacts not only on local residents but also the local, state and national economies.
"The proposed South Rockhampton Flood Levee has been identified as the most cost-effective option to mitigate the effects of flooding in Rockhampton, which is why we continue to call for a concrete funding commitment from Canberra.”
Mrs Landry rejected their claims of delay, saying the money was locked in. She said the business case was a formality due to the enormous amount of work the council had already done on planning.
"Only 16 (Regional Growth Fund) projects were selected from across the country and from a $272 million funding pool, the Levee Bank will receive $25 million,” she said.
"That's serious money and only possible because when Central Queenslanders back the LNP, they know the region will be looked after.”
The $60m project would have the Federal Government's $25m added to the council's $10m and the State Government's $25m.
Acting mayor for Rockhampton Regional Council Cherie Rutherford backed Ms Landry's view of the business case being watertight.
"We have done the business case,” Cr Rutherford said.
"It's one of things where we have to tick all the right boxes for the Federal Government and put it in the format they require. So I'm very confident we will get it through.”
She said as soon as the business case was approved the council would be able to move to detailed design and then to tender for construction.
No approximate start dates for earthworks were provided.
Cost: $60 million
Contributions: Council $10 million, State Government $25 million, Federal Government $25 million.
- The proposed levee is 7.2km long
- It will offer protection from a 200-year flood event
- Will protect an area of 724 hectares and over 1500 residential, commercial, industrial and rural parcels of land.