We need to invest in water to create new jobs in our farming sector.
On May 26 2016, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the Liberal-National Coalition would invest $130 million towards the construction of Rookwood Weir near Rockhampton.
Scientists and other experts estimate the project would create 2,100 new jobs and would eventually double agricultural production to $2 billion a year in the Fitzroy Basin. When using the economic multipler of three, that over 6,000 indirect jobs for the region. Imagine the impact this would have on small business, on accommodation, on transport.
Ken O’Dowd and I fought hard to secure this funding.
On top of this the Coalition also announced a further $2 million to help the State Government pay for its final business case for the project to proceed.
In December 2016, Queensland’s Coordinator General approved the final environmental impact study required to ‘greenlight’ Rookwood.
But there is one last hurdle. The state Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk still hasn’t signed-off on the state’s contribution towards Rookwood.
This is despite the fact that two key bodies - Gladstone Area Water Board and the state owned Sunwater are key proponents.
It's also despite the fact that the Queensland Member for Rockhampton also happens to be the Minister for Agriculture. He has failed to show public support, labelling this once in a lifetime investment as a 'Tory project'.
I will continue to fight for this project so that Central Queensland can benefit from Australia's record agricultrual growth.