ALP Senator Murray Watt and Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne at the Rockhampton Airport.
ALP Senator Murray Watt and Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne at the Rockhampton Airport. Contributed

South Rockhampton Levee not eligible for NDRAA funds

POLITICIANS continue to rumble over the South Rockhampton Flood Levee with the latest attack coming after a funding announcement for the Whitsundays.

On Monday, the Federal Government announced another $18 million in Federal funding for the Whitsunday region in Category D assistance under the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

State Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne and ALP Federal Senator Murray Watt attacked the Coalition for the lack of funding from NDRRA for the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.

Mr Byrne said Capricornia MP Michelle Landry's refusal to lobby her government on behalf of Rockhampton has cost the city $25 million.

"The latest letter from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirms that the Federal Government will not part-fund the South Rockhampton Flood Levee as part of Category D Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery arrangements,” he said.

”The funding proposal has been rejected because Michelle Landry looked the other way when she should have been fighting on behalf of her community.

”Michelle Landry just doesn't understand the damage that these regular flood events do to Rockhampton's national and international reputation.

”She can't see that companies looking to invest are influenced by the kind of media coverage we get when the Fitzroy River bursts its banks and water inundates properties and turns streets into canals."

Ms Landry hit back saying the levee was not eligible for NDRAA funding, but it was not a project that was completely off the table.

"As I have said time and time again, the South Rockhampton Flood Levee is not eligible for disaster funding as it is a new project, a project that has not met its basic due diligence in regards to community consultation and land acquisition,” she said.

”A project requiring funding of this level and of this nature would need to make an application and show that it has met these basic requirements.

”If Mr Byrne had bothered to show up to the forum, if he had bothered to work with me on the survey, if he had bothered to do any research before flying his colleagues in to make premature announcements, then he would know that the people of Rockhampton are already furious.

”They are furious that their concerns about the levee have been ignored in pursuit of a headline. The people of West Rockhampton and Alton Downs are furious that they will have to contribute to the cost of devaluing their own land.

”I have had a number of discussions with both the PM and DPM and they have given full support to assist in finding the appropriate channel for funding when the project meets its minimum legislative requirements.

”Nobody has ever said that the levee is off the table or that it doesn't have merit, but the process must be followed to make sure we don't fund a project that creates more problems than it solves."



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