TURNBULL IN ROCKHAMPTON: Prime Minister backs Fair Go
PM's ROCKY MOVEMENTS SO FAR
- The Prime Minister is travelling north to the electorate of Dawson
- Politicians met with locals at community meetings in Gracemere
- Spoke to media at Fairybower Rd sweet potato farm, where they announced $130m funds for Rookwood weir
- Answered range of media questions, including about custody of Johnny Depp's dogs
- Visited the Acton family's Paradise Lagoons property this morning, where he spoke about live exports
- Enjoyed a meal at Ribs and Rumps Rockhampton on Wednesday night
MULTIMEDIA COVERAGE OF VISIT:
UPDATE 4PM: Livingstone mayor Bill Ludwig has said the significance of Rookwood Weir could not be overstated as it has the potential to completely transform the region's agricultural economy.
"What Rookwood Weir would allow us to do is advance the ambitious plans and studies that were jointly undertaken by Livingstone and other councils in the region, with the assistance of State Development, to fully realise our agricultural business potential," Cr Ludwig said.
"Rookwood would give us an additional annual allocation of 4,000ML from Fitzroy River Water which would give us the capacity to transform our agricultural and industrial capacity to supply national and international export markets, secure and expand our current future industrial growth as well as urban water facility needs to the year 2050 and beyond.
"The timing could not be better for this announcement and we are very confident the State Government will partner with both the Federal Government and Central Queensland to transform the region's agricultural economy."
WATCH: Prime Minister back Fair Go
UPDATE 2.30PM: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has backed APN Australian Regional Media and NewsCorp's joint Fair Go for the Regions campaign while visiting a Rockhampton sweet potato farm.
When asked whether Mr Turnbull supported a push to close the gap between metropolitan and regional areas, he replied "absolutely".
Mr Turnbull said announcements like the $130 million funding for Rookwood Weir were part of the government's plan to address this inequality.
"This is a vital investment in regional Australia," he said.
Mr Turnbull said regional Australia benefitted from a diverse economy, including "enormous growth in tourism" and "phenomenal growth in agriculture".
"We've talked about the dining boom overtaking the mining boom," Mr Turnbull said.
"Well, we can have both.
"What we're seeing is great growth, but we need to have the water.
"We've got masses of water in Northern Australia … but we have done relatively little in managing it and regulating it and using it.
"We can do so very sustainably, looking after the environment and ensuring we are getting the big increases in agriculture production that … will add thousands of jobs and $1 billion for this region."
UPDATE 2.15PM: It's understood the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce are travelling to the northern parts of Capricornia and into the neighbouring electorate of Dawson.
After speaking to media about the government's $130 million investment in Rookwood Weir at a sweet potato farm this morning, Mr Joyce and Mr Turnbull joined Central Queensland politicians for community meetings in Gracemere.
UPDATE 1pm: Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce have today announced $130 million in funding for the development of Rookwood Weir with the State Government funding 50% of the $260 million project.
The Prime Minister made the announcement at a local sweet potato farm outside of Rockhampton this morning.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Strelow said she is delighted in the announcement that dovetails with councils' clear economic direction.
"We have been major players in the push for this Weir for a decade now and we have been significant partners in the Regional studies around agricultural opportunities," Mayor Strelow said.
"We are currently advertising for a dedicated position to ensure that agribusiness and small crops growing is a stronger and continuing part of our future."
Mayor Margaret Strelow's visit to Singapore late last year resulted in return visits from key Singaporean representatives who Mayor Strelow says are all part of a cohesive and vital story for our economic growth.
"It just makes sense for us to make use of both the water in the Fitzroy and our warm climate to grow more small crops and to grow our beef industry," she said.
UPDATE 11.30am: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy Barnaby Joyce have officially announced $130m funding for Rookwood Weir.
Speaking after touring a sweet potato farm on Fairybower Rd, the pair fronted gathering media to make the announcement.
Mr Turnbull said the benefit to Central Queensland from the weir development would be an annual injection of $1billion into the region's economy.
The Deputy PM said most of the jobs would come after the construction phase.
The pair answered questions on a range of topics including the divorce between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp and whether Minister Joyce wants custody of the dogs.
UPDATE 10am: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has visited Paradise Lagoons in Gracemere this morning where he spoke with the Acton family.
Mr Turnbull spoke to the prominent cattle industry family about the possibility of a feed lot in Central Queensland for drought relief, live exports and their influence on beef prices and free-trade agreements.
He has now moved to a nearby sweet potato farm, where he is expected to announce shortly $130m in funding for Rookwood Weir.
EARLIER: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce are in Rockhampton this morning as part of the Federal Election 2016 campaign.
Follow this story throughout the day for updates on announcements, meetings and questions put to the leaders by the general public.