The Coalition has announced it would spend $130 million to build the Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River if re-elected.
They will also spend $20 million for 14 feasibility studies for new dams in the state, hoping they would boost agricultural production by $1 billion and create more than 2,000 news jobs.
The announcement comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit Capricornia today, one of the Coalition’s most marginal seats.
The funding comes from $2 billion of funding the Federal Government has allocated as part of its dams policy.
Growing Central Queensland has been a key player in encouraging the development of the weir and attracting public and private investment.
Project manager Anne Stunzner said she was delighted by the announcement.
“It’s the first time in 40 years we’ve seen a significant investment in water infrastructure in central Queensland,” she said.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to provide low cost water for agricultural growth in the region.”
Ms Stunzner said she hoped today’s announcement would be closely followed by state funding, and the project would begin before the end of the year.
“There’s the opportunity for the states to access the $2 billion water infrastructure fund, so I’m guessing that’s where they’ll look to fund the other half of the dam from,” she said.
Another feasibility study for Urannah Dam
Of the funding, $150 million dollars has been allocated for the fast-tracking of feasibility studies for a number of water projects.
For the tropical north, the proposed Urannah Dam feasibility study will receive $3 million.
The Bowen Collinsville Enterprise applied for the funding, but the project has been studied for decades and millions have already been spent on feasibility studies: the latest will the fifth in 30 years.
However, the federal member for Dawson, George Christensen, said this level of funding had never been contributed to the planning studies for Urannah.
“There’s been desktop studies done of this in the past but we’re talking about not just a desktop study here; we’re talking about funding to bring it to construction stage,” Mr Christensen said. To read more click here.
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