Premier Newman promises Rockhampton will not be left out
PREMIER Campbell Newman told Rockhampton Regional Council he was there to get them what they needed on his whirlwind tour of the region yesterday.
"My job is to get you things," he told the Local Disaster Co-ordination Centre before heading off to the Rockhampton Police Station, Depot Hill and to see SES workers.
Standing beside the Fitzroy River flood marker, Mr Newman admitted the region's second flood in two years had highlighted the importance of the Yeppen Crossing.
But the Premier refused to speak about funding for the upgrade.
"It is a priority," Mr Newman said.
"Unfortunately, given the federal election announcement it might be seen as somewhat political and we're in the middle of a disaster.
"It's a critical choke-point for people right up the length of Queensland. It's more than Rocky, it's more than not being able to get to Gracemere."
Mayor Margaret Strelow said fixing the Yeppen Crossing was not just vital to the region's economy, but the entire state's economy too.
Mr Newman countered questions that mine water being released would affect Rockhampton's water supply by saying there was so much water flowing that it would dilute the mine water.
"The discharges occurring right now are a trial... subject to full, comprehensive monitoring by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection," he said
"I'm very confident there will not be one discernible impact at all."
He said the Queensland Government would provide funding for council to fix the region's water supply if it was proven otherwise.
Mr Newman and Mayor Margaret Strelow joked it was a promise she would hold him to.
His visit to Rockhampton came after his tour of Bundaberg, which was ravaged by floodwater.
Mr Newman said the damage bill for Queensland was at $2.4 billion and he expected it to continue to rise.